Samsung task force prepares for 5G networks

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Samsung task force prepares for 5G networks

Samsung Electronics is preparing for the next generation of digital networking.

In April, the tech giant formed a task force comprising 100 employees recruited from the IT company’s departments dealing with smartphones, network communications, consumer electronics and semiconductors.

“When you have to go a step further in a drastically changing environment, you have to combine forces from different departments and create a synergy effect,” Kim Young-ki, Samsung Electronics president, said in an exclusive JoongAng Ilbo interview. “The team is the quintessence of each team’s combined capacity in order for Samsung Electronics to prevail in the fifth-generation [5G] network market.”

Kim also heads the network communications department.

The task force is not Samsung Electronics’ first step to adapt to the fast-changing IT industry. Every time there has been a major change in network systems, such as when code division multiple access, or CDMA, was first developed, enabling multiple users to go online at the same time; and when the third and fourth generations of internet service were invented, Samsung Electronics has organized a team to contend with the new technology.

Kim said his position as leader of the networking department made him the best choice to head the task force because “networks are the infrastructure of an industry.”

It is common practice in the electronics industry for separate departments to collaborate in order to develop new network services and devices.

However, when there is a completely new technology thrown into the field, the cooperative relationship becomes even more vital.

“[By collaborating], when the new technology gets into practical use, we can immediately respond by introducing the latest devices and services using the technology in the market,” Kim said.

Industry sources say the new 5G technology will be 20 times faster than the current 4G networks. That means that a single 5-gigabyte ultra-high-definition movie could be downloaded in 2 seconds. It also means that even if you are moving at a speed of 500 kilometers per hour (310 miles per hour), the network will not stutter.

Kim said what’s called a “telepresence” will be achieved through the newly developed technology.

“Let’s say there is an employee who is in charge of the foreign inventory,” Kim said. “Even if you don’t go to the warehouses in the trading countries, flying a drone over the containers will allow the employee to take a look at the inventory as if he or she were actually there. Such video-streaming service requires a data flow that is 10 times faster than now [which will only be available with 5G].”

While Kim and the rest of his network team were gearing for the new technology era to arrive, outside, there were rumors that the networking department would be spun off from Samsung Electronics.

Kim denied the rumors, saying, “Every segment of Samsung Electronics gains vitality once they are all connected by network technology. The network department will never be sold.”


BY LIM MI-JIN [jin.eunsoo@joongang.co.kr]

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