KT said on November 8 that it will provide commercial 5G services from 2019, one year ahead of the target year of global mobile carriers such as China Mobile and Verizon, via its KT 5G-Special Interest Group (SIG) organized a year ago. This early start is to lead the international standardization of 5G communications and related services applied to hologram, virtual reality, autonomous driving, etc.
KT was planning to develop 5G-SIG standards with Samsung Electronics, Ericsson, Nokia, Qualcomm and Intel, provide the world’s first trial 5G services at the Pyeongchang Winter Olympics in 2018 by utilizing the standards, and then launch commercial services after the determination of international standards by 3GPP in 2020. According to KT, the early start is likely to cause no problem at all because the 5G-SIG standards are highly likely to become international standards.
In this context, KT opened its official KT 5G Service webpage on November 8 and made public its documents related to 5G specifications. This is to allow South Korean companies and research institutes to conduct advanced research into 5G relays, components, devices and the like by means of its specifications. “The global 5G standards have yet to be determined but we are confident that mobile carriers and equipment manufacturers around the world will make use of our 5G-SIG standards as their test specifications,” KT explained.
KT’s 5G services are to be tested at the winter Olympics before the commercialization scheduled for 2019. The companies in cooperation with KT are planning to complete the development of base stations, terminals, network equipment and so on within this year for use at the Olympics. Late last month, KT and Samsung Electronics succeeded in a commercial telephone conversation using the 5G-SIG specifications. In addition, KT began to test terminal interoperability with 5G base stations with Nokia on November 3 and is currently verifying virtualized core networks by combining software and hardware from multiple suppliers with its 5G network. Samsung Electronics and Nokia are participating in the network verification.
“At present, different servers have to be set up for the realization of vehicular networks, disaster response networks, IoT networks and so on,” KT mentioned, adding, “Down the road, however, multiple networks for different industrial purposes can be formed with ease and speed on a single universal infrastructure by means of 5G network virtualization.”