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Korean mobile carriers to bring 5G to life at MWC 2019

5G services to enable transcending of time and space, connecting industries and increasing user convenience

In just one week, the world will witness how the fifth-generation telecommunications network will be realized across various industries and change individual users’ lives at the world’s biggest mobile industry show in Barcelona, Spain, according to industry sources Sunday.

And South Korea’s three telecom giants will be taking center stage at Mobile World Congress 2019, which kicks off Feb. 25 for a four-day run, demonstrating their commercial 5G services they say will transcend time and space for a seamlessly connected world.

All three Korean mobile operators launched 5G networks for businesses in December and are planning to commercialize them for individual users of mobile gadgets next month.

SK Telecom will unveil 5G Hyper Space for the first time at the MWC. The platform enables users to toggle back and forth between the virtual and real world. 

An image of SK Telecom's booth at MWC2019 (SKT)
An image of SK Telecom's booth at MWC2019 (SKT)

For instance, a user with virtual reality goggles can visit a restaurant precisely copied and built on the virtual platform and see a hotel room virtually in person before making the reservation. Of course, the reservation made in the virtual world is effective in the real world.

For office workers, they can hold a meeting via the platform and bring all the data from the virtual meeting to reality.

Other 5G-based services by SKT include an artificial intelligence solution to help reduce defect rates in semiconductor factories, an AI visual platform, a blockchain service and an autonomous car infotainment system.

SKT CEO Park Jung-ho will take part in a board meeting of the GSM Association, the organizer of the MWC event, as a Korea representative. Park is to encourage global mobile carriers to join a global roaming plan that offers higher-quality voice calls at lower prices in the 5G environment.

KT will demonstrate operating a 5G Skyship, an airship floating in the sky of the Korean Peninsula, from a 5G Remote Cockpit Zone installed at the company’s exhibition booth in Barcelona.

The KT 5G Skyship carries a high-definition camera to deliver high-quality images of emergency situations taken from the air to on-shore disaster control centers on a real-time basis.

KT Chairman Hwang Chang-gyu will deliver a keynote speech about 5G on the opening day of the MWC. This year will mark the third time for the KT chief to address the global audience on future telecom technologies, following previous speeches in 2015 and 2017 on 5G. Hwang was the first to mention 5G at MWC four years ago. 

An image of KT's booth at MWC2019 (KT)
An image of KT's booth at MWC2019 (KT)

LG Uplus is showcasing robots, drones, intelligent closed circuit TV and blockchain payment services for business-to-business customers using the company’s 5G network, while introducing not only VR but also augmented reality and hologram technologies for sports and entertainment to allow users to enjoy baseball and golf as well as K-pop performances in a more immersive manner.

LG Uplus Vice Chairman Ha Hyun-hwoi will seek partnerships with global media companies in Barcelona in order to launch new businesses by converging the 5G network with various media businesses, according to the company. 

LG Uplus CEO Ha Hyun-hwoi looks at AR goggles at Consumer Electronics Show 2019 in January. (LG Uplus)
LG Uplus CEO Ha Hyun-hwoi looks at AR goggles at Consumer Electronics Show 2019 in January. (LG Uplus)

“Upon the convergence of telecom and media, mobile carriers are speeding up efforts to discover new businesses in the emerging area,” Ha said.

The LG Uplus CEO is also scheduled to meet with counterparts from Verizon, T Mobile and Vodafone to discuss preparations for 5G in those countries.

By Song Su-hyun (