SK works on ecosystem for 5G with three local start-ups

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SK works on ecosystem for 5G with three local start-ups

SK Telecom has joined forces with three local start-ups to develop services in the fields of virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) as it gears up to adopt the next-generation 5G connectivity.

The three start-ups are Redbird, a developer of state-of-the art 3-D scanning and web viewer services; Looxid Labs, which measures various biometrics including eye movement and brainwave signals using a VR headset to analyze the user’s cognitive ability and emotional status; and Elrois, which synthesizes videos clips shot with drones with 3-D graphic images to help provide highly realistic game-playing experience.

SK Telecom said prototypes of the services will become available by the first half of next year and it will assess their potential as actual businesses then.

The services are part of the so-called Giga Korea project led by the Ministry of Science, ICT and Future Planning.

Under the project, which is attempting to create a 5G ecosystem in Korea, SK Telecom and Unity Korea, a 3-D, VR and AR content developer, have been working to support the research and development of human resources and to provide related devices and technologies.

Korean telecom operators including SK Telecom are betting on 5G to become the next dominant mobile communications standard after long-term evolution, or 4G telephony.

“We aim to come up with successful business models by joining hands with smaller yet promising companies to innovate platforms and create a 5G service ecosystem at the same time,” said Choi Jin-sung, SK Telecom’s CTO and head of corporate R&D center.

Korea’s No. 1 telecom service has recently unveiled plans to deploy and operate 5G trial networks characterized by different scales and capabilities in Seoul and other select metropolitan areas through cooperation with global telecommunications equipment manufacturers including Ericsson, Nokia and Samsung Electronics starting early next year.

On the back of the 5G connectivity, which promises much more than just faster data speeds, SK Telecom is developing a range of futuristic services such as connected car, artificial intelligence, robotics, and immersive media based on augmented reality and virtual reality technologies.


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