A logo of KT (KT)
South Korean telecommunications giant KT said Thursday it plans to spend a combined 27 trillion won ($21.5 billion) in the field of network infrastructure, artificial intelligence and cloud computing over the next five years until 2026.
KT, Korea‘s largest telecommunications firm by revenue as of 2021, also pledged to hire 28,000 employees during the same period.
The 12 trillion won package will be used for AI, cloud computing and media contents. KT will hone AI-powered products such as automated customer service centers and robotic services, as well as hyperscale AI computing, data centers and other cloud computing infrastructure.
Another 3 trillion won will be KT’s cash ammunition for startup investment and possible strategic alliances with startup investees. KT has so far made early stage investment in startups such as Pinkfong, the entertainment firm behind the global phenomenon “Baby Shark”; travel booking app operator Yanolja; and cloud managed service provider Megazone Cloud.
This is the first time that KT has unveiled prospective investment figures related to the non-network business realm.
In the meantime, KT will maintain its spending on network infrastructure and research on par with the past, which amounts to 12 trillion won over five years. High-speed wireless internet connections will be stabilized as KT seeks to strengthen infrastructure by setting up more cables or adding more routers, while more disaster recovery centers will be located outside the greater Seoul area. More research will be carried out in tandem with the arrival of next-generation internet standards such as 6G.
The announcement came in the 20th year of KT‘s privatization. State-owned Korea Telecom was fully handed over to private-sector entities in August 2002.