KT Chairman Hwang Chang-gyu said KT will commercialize G5 network technology for the first time in the world in the next two years. Chairman Hwang made the remarks in a keynote speech at the Mobile World Congress (MWC) 2017, which opened on Feb. 27 in Barcelona, Spain. He said KT’s commercialization of 5G communications technology will come one year ahead of the global IT industry’s timeline of 2020.
“5G is will be the key driving force to change the world, as it opens the intelligent network,” Chairman Hwang said. 5G will be the main artery of the 4th Industrial Revolution that can transport such large volumes of data as IoT, big data, and artificial intelligence.
Chairman Hwang stressed the necessity of 5G networks in his keynote speech at the MWC 2015. In the latest keynote at the MWC 2017 under the theme “5G & Beyond, Accelerating the Future,” Hwang disclosed his company’s plan on the timing of the introduction of a 5G network. Chairman Hwang’s remarks may be construed as KT’s intention to get a head start in an era of 5G at a time when global companies are fiercely competing to secure technology in the upcoming 5G network market, a KT official said.
Hwang predicted that the combination of 5G with big data, A.I. and IoT will have enormous economic values, which will not only expedite investments in the telecommunications industry, but also strengthen national competitiveness with Korea taking a lead in the next-generation mobile era.
A report released by the global market & analysis company HIS in January showed that 5G is forecast to have economic effects worth $12.3 trillion (1.3 quadrillion won) in 2035. Chairman Hwang introduced technologies based on 5G network. KT has already developed a spatial information technology that can locate persons stranded at sea within an error margin of 1 meter. KT is now developing a technology to operate a drone and a connected car without colliding with each other, he said.
Chairman Hwang said KT’s early commercialization of 5G networks is progressing in a flawless manner. KT succeeded in transmitting data at a speed of 25.3 Gbps at a mobile environment in cooperation with Swedish telecom equipment maker Ericsson for the first time in the world. The speed is about 80 times faster than the current LTE (G4) network. KT demonstrated KT’s world first G5 network on seven occasions and now owns about 90 related patents.
He said the PyeongChang 2018 Winter Games, slated for next February, will be a test-bed for the early commercialization of 5G services. KT, the official telecom operator of the Winter Olympics, will test-operate 5G services for the first time in the world.
As Chairman Hwang stepped on the stage at the WMC 2017, a large-sized screen behind him began to present 5G-based broadcasting relay services.
They included the “Sync View,” capable of broadcasting bobsleigh athletes’ real-time movements through super small cameras attached on them, and the “Time Slice” service displaying movements of figure skating athletes at various angles. “With one year to go for the opening of the PyeongChang Olympics, watching the broadcasting of the Olympics over TVs will be an exciting sport event,” said Chairman Hwang, adding, “viewers would really feel like they’re playing with Olympians.”
Hwang’s Reelection as KT Chairman
KT Chairman Hwang will likely be charged with improving governance transparency and exploring future growth engines during his second three-year term.
KT’s board of directors held a regular session on Jan. 31 and approved a proposal to reelect Chairman Hwang. If Chairman Hwang’s reelection gets the go-ahead at a regular shareholders’ meeting slated for March, his term will start thereafter.
Looking back his three years in office, Chairman Hwang said in an interview that KT has demonstrated the potential to develop KT into a global ICT powerhouse through greater innovation. KT has joined the group of companies posting 1 trillion won in operating profit, solidifying its management fundamentals through structural reforms and exploring new businesses.
During the process, KT executives and staff members have been able to restore their "can-do spirit," he said.