KT Corp. will launch its 5G network for business users early next year. The launch is expected to offer the country a head start on the development of IoT systems built on the superfast data communications technology.
The operator announced that 5G service for corporate customers will begin in March 2019, followed by a service for consumers that supports smartphones between April and June. Oh Sung-mok, president of KT’s network division, said that the network will initially cover major metropolitan areas such as Seoul. Rates will be announced later.
Leading telcos in the US, Verizon wireless and AT&T, have said they plan to roll out 5G as early as this year. However, Oh argued that Verizon’s planned fixed-wireless service, which cannot be used by smartphones or cars, should be considered “pre-5G”. He also claimed that KT will be the world’s first company to commercialise mobile 5G.
KT envisions its commercial service finding use in applications such as as smart factories that analyse data from cameras and sensors to boost productivity, as well as for high-quality advertising displays on trains.
Oh also said that KT will join with small and midsize startups inside and outside South Korea to set up a body as soon as next month to discuss commercialisation of 5G technology.