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KT launches ‘GiGA Creative Town’

CHEONGHAKDONG, South Gyeongsang Province ― South Korea’s leading mobile carrier KT has transformed Cheonghakdong, a tranquil mountainous town in South Gyeongsang Province, into a “smart” village fitted with fast telecommunications networks.

Located at around 800 meters above sea level on Mount Jirisan, Cheonghakdong with its 380 village members is well known for its rich forestry, scenic views and Confucian traditions passed down from the residents’ ancestors.

Far away from cities, the small village used to lack telecommunication infrastructure to communicate with people outside.
Cheonghakdong residents and KT officials including KT chairman Hwang Chang-gyu (left, front row) watch a flying security drone during a ceremony to transform the small village into a “GiGa Creative Town” on Monday. (Yonhap)
Cheonghakdong residents and KT officials including KT chairman Hwang Chang-gyu (left, front row) watch a flying security drone during a ceremony to transform the small village into a “GiGa Creative Town” on Monday. (Yonhap)

“The traditional Cheonghakdong village has now turned into a smart town that can be connected in real time with anywhere across the nation thanks to KT’s GiGA infrastructure and information technology solutions,” said Hwang Chang-gyu, the chief executive of the mobile carrier, at the launch ceremony of the GiGA Creative Town on Monday.

He added that the company would join hands with the Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs to make rural and remote areas safer and more convenient places to live.

Around 100 government officials and executives of KT, including Yoon Kyung-lim, head of KT’s future convergence business office, Lee Joon-won, deputy minister of agriculture and Yoon Sang-ki, head of Hadong County, participated in the event.

The project to have the traditional village installed with information and communication technologies, dubbed the Cheonghak-dong GiGA Creative Village, is in line with KT’s initiative to bring Long Term Evolution networks to every corner of the nation.

KT has also built its GiGA network infrastructure on Imjado Island off the nation’s southwest coast, Baengnyeongdo Island in the West Sea and in Daeseong-dong, a village in the Demilitarized Zone.

The creative town near Jirisan Mountain is the first collaborative work of KT and the Agriculture Ministry, both of which vowed to work together to build smart farms and to help export agricultural technologies to global markets.

The village residents will be able to utilize cutting-edge ICT solutions provided by KT.

With smart board solution BeTouch, equipped at the library in Cheonghakdong, teachers for Confucian education can remotely teach students in other areas about Chinese characters and traditions of the old days.

When a teacher writes Chinese characters with a sensor-installed writing brush on the smart board, students in remote cities can learn traditional calligraphy with their mobile devices.

The BeTouch solution was developed by Anyractive, a start-up participating in a business incubating program run by KT at the Center for Creative Economy and Innovation in Gyeonggi Province.

In order to help Cheonhakdong residents better utilize IT devices, KT will run programs to teach the residents how to use the digital devices through video conferencing.

Some ICT solutions deployed for the village are also aimed at fostering tourism in the region.

Beacons installed in every nook and corner of the village will send information on tourist attractions, accommodation, local delicacies and traditional schools in the town to visitors through their smartphones.

KT also donated quadcopters equipped with high-definition and thermal imaging cameras, which will be used to monitor possible mountaineering accidents and natural disasters, such as forest fires and landslides.

Health monitoring mobile application Yodoc and Happyon, an app that allows children to control their parents’ smartphones, are also expected to improve the lives of the residents in Cheonghakdong.

By Kim Young-won  (wone0102@heraldcorp.com)
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