KT’s super fast mobile Internet a sea change for remote island

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KT’s super fast mobile Internet a sea change for remote island

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Incheon Mayor Yoo Jeong-bok, right, and Oh Seong-mok, head of the network division at KT, make a video call on Tuesday to fishermen in the West Sea using a satellite-enabled wideband LTE network. Provided by the company

Mobile carrier KT on Tuesday installed a bullet-speed mobile Internet system that is five times faster than existing service on Baengnyeong Island on the maritime border in the West Sea, which belongs to Incheon Metropolitan City.

The move is part of the company’s ongoing project to enhance the quality of life for island residents through advanced technologies.

Under the project, entitled Baengnyeong Giga Island, the nation’s second largest telecom company installed a device that makes possible mobile Internet speeds of up to 1 gigabit per second for wideband long-term evolution-Advanced (LTE-A) connections.

KT, as part of its social responsibility activities, has been offering high-speed Internet equipment on remote islands where it is challenging to install optical fiber cable.

The company said it chose Baengnyeong because it is situated in the northernmost West Sea and its residents are rapidly aging. The island is home to 5,400 people, a relatively large number considering its distance from land - 228 kilometers (141 miles), or four hours by ship - but cultural and medical infrastructure lag behind that on the mainland.

KT has also instituted various experimental services taking into account the island’s geographic features. It launched trial service of the 4-transmit-4-receiver (4T4R) antenna technology meant to expand coverage in sparsely populated regions in Baengnyeong and four other islands in the West Sea.

KT and Samsung Electronics jointly developed the wireless technology to resolve transmission cut-off problems frequently observed on vessels.

The company also donated 100 Samsung Galaxy Gear S smartwatches to the elderly to enable them to monitor their health. Should any problem be detected, the information is transmitted to families and medical institutions nearby.

BY SEO JI-EUN [seo.jieun@joongang.co.kr]

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