LG U+ chairman elaborates on IoT

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LG U+ chairman elaborates on IoT


LG U+ Vice Chairman Lee Sang-chul speaks at a press conference at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona. Provided by the company

LG U+ Vice Chairman Lee Sang-chul emphasized the significant opportunities that lie in Internet-connected home appliances or, more broadly, the smart home system, promising aggressive investment in that emerging market.

The vice chairman held a press briefing at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, where the telecommunications company unveiled a series of smart electronic goods such as the Home Manager.

The IoT solution Home Manager is designed to control home appliances via a human voice.

Lee made it clear that the fate of LG U+ depends on how the company incorporates the concept of the Internet of Things (IoT) into its products and business strategy.

IoT refers to a network of physical objects connected to the Internet.

“A war is about to break out in this new market called IoT,” Lee said.

To thrive in the IoT market, he continued, the company needed to look beyond what would come after the IoT.

“Not too far in the future, we will experience the age of the Internet of the Brain, when machines and software will be able to predict what people need and want,” he continued. “Then, the service providers capable of meeting each person’s distinctive needs and tastes will succeed.”

He added that LG U+ plans to release some 10 different IoT services related to energy and home security within this year.

A service for energy-saving will enable users to check electric charges in real time and allow them to save on lighting and electricity remotely.

Also on the release list is a package service for security based on IoT. When burglars break into a home, the program would send alerts to the user’s smartphone, while at the same time detecting possible gas leaks inside the house.

He said that even various home IoT products offered by different companies can be controlled together through a wireless access point.

“Customers can choose any service they want and utilize and incorporate it freely,” Lee said.

LG U+ currently plans to establish an IoT center in Daejeon, where small- and medium-size companies can conduct research.

He also vowed to forge partnerships to better compete with rival companies.

“We will actively seek a strategic alliance and pull our resources to develop next-generation IoT services.”

Additionally, Lee reiterated the importance of the 5G network to better realize the smart home network.

“In the era of home IoT, we need advanced 5G technology to allow for quicker data transmission and processing,” he said, “because the number of devices connected to one network will increase from the current 2 billion to 100 billion.”

The telecommunications company announced last month that it had established a base station for the first 5G network in Korea.

The base station, with a half-sized remote radio head and smaller antennas, can process 345MHz frequencies, four times broader than the existing frequency spectrum, enabling data transmission at 50 gigabits per second.

As the country’s smallest mobile carrier, the vice chairman predicted that brand name would be less important in the IoT market than in the telecommunications field.

“When people choose a mobile phone operator, they sometimes choose the name they’re familiar with. But with IoT service, quality of service matters more.”

BY PARK EUN-JEE [park.eunjee@joongang.co.kr]
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