At the Mobile World Congress (MWC) 2017, the world’s largest mobile trade fair which ended on March 2 (local time), domestic mobile communication service providers, “We will commercialize 5G services in 2019 for the first time in the world.” They showed their strong will to lead the ICT convergence industry, such as autonomous vehicles and smart factories which are combined with artificial intelligence (AI) and the Internet of Things (IoT) based on 5G of high speed, ultra-low latency and hyper connectivity.
In particular, Samsung Electronics and LG Electronics showed their confidence to surpass Apple of the U.S. and Huawei of China with smartphones equipped with AI technology, while SK Telecom and KT revealed their ambitions to lead the global advanced industry, including driverless car, smart home and smart city, with chants of “AI First.”
KT Chairman Hwang Chang-kyu said in his opening keynote address at the MWC 2017, “The 5G era is combined with network, the Intern of Everything (IoE), big data and AI, and it will completely change existing industries and markets,” showing the confidence in the leadership in the AI assistant and autonomous vehicle industry.
Hwang also said, “KT introduced its new AI assistant “GiGA Genie” to mobile carriers around the world at the board meeting of GSMA, which held a day before the MWC. CEOs of global mobile communication service providers were amazed as GiGA Genie controlled Internet Protocol television (IPTV) as well as smart home with voice commands.” In regard to self-driving cars, he said, “Many companies are seeking to develop autonomous cars, but KT is the only company that has the perfect 5G network-based autonomous driving technology.”
Choi Jin-sung, chief technology officer (CTO) of SK Telecom, said, “The AI technology is a core technology owned by a mobile carrier that encompasses various sectors, including IPTV, the IoT and autonomous vehicle. It will determine the competitiveness of all companies and will continuously grow in importance in the future.”
South Korean ICT firms also had the strong competitiveness in the IoT sector that pass through smart home, smart factory and smart city systems. SK Telecom demonstrated how to connect NUGU, its AI service powered by voice recognition, with the smart home system armed with various IoT devices. KT, in cooperation with Cisco, launched a platform which manages IoT devices.
“I could feel the strong respect for the South Korean information and communications technology (ICT) industry at the Global System for the board meeting of Mobile Communications Association (GSMA) which was participated in by 13 leading mobile carriers around the world. In the fifth generation (5G) mobile communication ecosystem, South Korean ICT companies, including the three mobile carriers – SK Telecom, KT and LG U+ - and Samsung Electronics and LG Electronics, are expected to secure the leadership in the Fourth Industrial Revolution through a mutual win-win competition,” said SK Telecom President Park Jung-ho.
SoftBank Group CEO Son Jung-eui, an investment genius in the global ICT industry, also noticed South Korean ICT companies’ competitiveness in AI and the IoT. Right after the keynote address at the MWC 2017, Son said, “We are planning to make a direct investment in South Korean tech companies. We are looking for investment opportunities in three sectors – AI, IoT and smart robot.”