KT reshuffle emphasizes 5G, AI and blockchain

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KT reshuffle emphasizes 5G, AI and blockchain

KT, Korea’s second-largest telecommunications provider, reorganized its business divisions on Friday to focus on the development of its 5G cellular network, artificial intelligence and blockchain technology.

In particular, the company has dedicated two teams to researching 5G and blockchain technology. Previously, the 5G project had been under the network business division.

KT, as the official telecommunications partner of the 2018 PyeongChang Olympics, has been vying for global attention in its 5G network, which the company will be testing at the Winter Games. It will make KT the first mobile carrier in the world to run a pilot 5G service.

By 2019, KT hopes to become the first carrier in the world to commercialize the low-latency network.

The new 5G team will be in charge of executing this project. It hopes to make KT’s 5G the global standard and build strategies for finding the best broadband spectrum to deliver the network.

The blockchain team will be directly supervised by the head of KT’s Institute of Convergence and Technology, the telecom company’s research and development center. As financial institutions have begun adopting blockchain technology for digital bookkeeping, KT hopes it can also find profitable business models using the technology.

For artificial intelligence, KT plans to expand divisions that are already engaging in research of related technologies.

This year, the company established an AI Tech Center that is open to its business partners and teaches people AI technology, as well as a GiGA Genie business division in charge of KT’s voice-activated smart speakers.

Next year, the company plans to expand the GiGA Genie business division into a more general AI business division. The AI Tech Center can expect more roles and opportunities next year when it will be managed directly by the head of KT Institute of Convergence Technology along with the blockchain team.

KT on Friday also unveiled the results of its annual executive reshuffle. Twenty-seven people were promoted, with 19, including three women, newly minted as executives.

Kim Young-sik will be leading the intelligent network support unit at KT and was recognized for commercializing so-called C-DRX technology used for extending battery life on smartphones.

Kim June-keun will be in charge of the GiGA IoT business team, cited for improving competitiveness of KT’s connected car and Internet of Things business.

Kim Young-myoung will head the smart energy business unit. The company said he contributed to increasing revenue from the smart energy business by more than three times compared to the previous year.

Among the new female executives, Kim Hye-joo is a big data expert whom KT scouted from outside the company two years ago.

BY KIM JEE-HEE [kim.jeehee@joongang.co.kr]
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