[PyeongChang 2018] KT’s 5G network ready to go at PyeongChang Olympics

By Sohn Ji-young

KT, together with Intel and Samsung Electronics, to showcase 5G-connected services at newly-opened 5G exhibition center in Gangneung Olympic Park

  • Published : Jan 31, 2018 - 16:16
  • Updated : Feb 1, 2018 - 09:30
GANGNEUNG, Gangwon Province -- South Korea’s KT, an official telecommunications partner for the PyeongChang Olympic Winter Games, announced Wednesday that its ultra-fast 5G network is fully deployed and ready for use during the international sporting event.

Over the past two years, KT has been working with its partners Intel and Samsung Electronics to deploy the world’s first large-scale 5G trial network at the PyeongChang Olympics, with aims to offer the public an early glimpse of the new technologies and services that will be enabled by the next-generation network.

And with just over a week left until the start of the Winter Games, the three firms have completed all preparations and are ready to welcome visitors to their new 5G exhibition space at the Gangneung Olympic Park.

“We are showcasing the world’s first ‘5G Olympics,’ running the first large-scale 5G network system in PyeongChang two years before the expected timeline,” said KT Chairman Hwang Chang-gyu during a joint ceremony Wednesday to mark the opening of the 5G promotion space.

KT Chairman and CEO Hwang Chang-gyu (center) speaks with Chang Byung-gyu (right), chief of the Presidential Fourth Industrial Revolution Committee, during a press briefing on the telecom operator’s completion of the 5G network for the PyeongChang Winter Olympic Games held at the 5G exhibition hall in Gangneung, Gangwon Province, Wednesday, also attended by Ko Dong-jin (left), co-CEO of Samsung Electronics. (Yonhap)

Short for fifth-generation, 5G is designed to be at least 10 times as fast as today’s 4G Long Term Evolution networks, promising download speeds of up to 20 gigabytes per second and a response time of less than 0.001 seconds.

With the ability to transmit large amounts of data with ultralow latency, 5G is set to form the backbone of futuristic technologies like virtual reality and the internet of things, while enabling on-demand ultra high-definition video streaming and more.

During the Olympics, KT will demonstrate how 5G can make watching sports a more interactive and immersive endeavor through four technologies enabled by the ultra-fast network -- sync view, time slice, 360 degree VR and omni view.

And these 5G-dependent technologies are being hosted by the world’s first 5G-enabled tablets developed by Samsung Electronics. Visitors can check them out at KT’s main 5G exhibition space as well as four stadiums in PyeongChang and Gangneung.

Sync view, to be used for the bobsleigh events, will transmit live, real-time footage from the athletes’ point of view as they skid down the track at high speeds.

Time slice, applied in the ice arenas, is a 5G-dependent video streaming technology that lets viewers control the time, target and angle of what they are viewing. For instance, while watching a figure skater perform a jump, viewers can stop the screen to see that particular moment in different angles.

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.

Omni point view is a live broadcast service that hosts multiple live-feed videos at once. It will be applied to the cross country skiing event. Viewers will be able to choose the broadcast angle they want to view from, including personalized views of each athlete.

In addition to these features, KT is also offering a number of 5G-based VR attractions at its Gangneung 5G promotion space. Visitors can play ice hockey or carry the Olympic torch in VR or take part in an Olympics escape room challenge while wearing VR headsets.

For those unable to physically make it down to Gangneung during the Olympics, KT is also operating a similar 5G experience space at its headquarters in Gwanghwamun of Seoul.

The Korean carrier will also be operating “5G buses” featuring various 5G technologies, as a promotional ride available to selected guests, it said.

By Sohn Ji-young (