KT has been working with Intel and Samsung over the last two years to launch 5G trial

South Korean mobile operator KT announced it is technically ready to launch its 5G trial during the upcoming Winter Olympics Games, which will take place in the city of PyeongChang February 9-25

KT said during the trial,the 5G network is forecast to enable a data transmission speed that is 100 times faster than current networks. “The 5G Exhibition Hall, operated by KT during the PyeongChang Olympics, will serve as an opportunity to experience a 5G future in advance,” company Chairman Hwang Chang-gyu said.

“With partners such as Intel and Samsung Electronics, KT will make all efforts not only to provide the world’s first 5G trial service in PyeongChang, but also to commercialize the world’s first 5G services.”

KT also announced plans to open a 5G promotion hall at Gwanghwamun in Seoul to allow visitors to experience the next-generation mobile technology.

Last October, KT successfully connected Samsung’s 5G device to KT’s 5G trial network based on 5G specifications for the stadium during the opening and closing ceremonies. 

During the PyeongChang Games, the mobile operator said it aims to provide five 5G-driven visual technologies — sync view, interactive time slice, 360-degree virtual reality live broadcasting, omni-point view and a 5G connected bus.

  • The Sync view will be used for the bobsled events. This technology will transmit live, real-time footage from the athletes’ points of view.
  • Time slice is a 5G-dependent video streaming technology that lets viewers control the time, target and angle of what they are viewing.
  • The 360 degree VR feature, to be showcased during the ice hockey and snowboarding tournaments, will let viewers watch the game live in VR by strapping on a 5G-connected VR headset.
  • The omni-point view service will be available for the cross-country skiing competition, allowing viewers to catch up with a certain athlete’s performance in real time.

KT confirmed plans to launch commercial 5G services in 2019, the company’s SVP of Network Strategy YongGyoo Lee previously said during a keynote presentation at Qualcomm’s 4G/5G Summit, which took place in Hong Kong  in October 2017.

The executive said KT’s 5G deployment plans initially stipulate the use of 28 GHz spectrum for urban hot spots and 3.5 GHz band for urban and rural areas. Through the utilization of these frequencies, KT will be in a position to cover a wide range of use cases such as smart cities, 4K/8K cameras, remote medical services, drones, smart factories and public safety, the executive said.

South Korean mobile operators are expected to invest more than $9.36 billion in 5G network technology in 2018, according to recent Korean press reports.

According to the reports, the local Ministry of Science and ICT and the country’s three mobile carries – SK Telecom, KT Corp and LG U+ – have plans to start commercial operations in 2019 and build nationwide infrastructure by 2020.

The Korean government has recently announced plans to award 5G spectrum in June this year. The Ministry of Science and ICT said 3.5 GHz and 28 GHz spectrum will be auctioned.

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