KT lab allows partners to try 5G

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KT lab allows partners to try 5G


Yoon Jin-hyoun, vice president of Infra R&D Lab at KT’s Institute of Convergence Technology, explains how 5G networks can improve emergency rescue using robots at the mobile carrier’s 5G Open Lab on Thursday. [KT]

KT has opened a lab to allow its partners to develop and test services and products that work on next generation 5G networks at its existing research center in Seocho District, southern Seoul.

The KT 5G Open Lab that opened Tuesday on the second floor of the mobile carrier’s Institute of Convergence Technology is fully equipped with the gear needed to test the 5G set up including base stations, cloud servers and mobile devices that network equipment providers, VR content makers and portal companies can use.

“It will be too late for companies to prepare for services and business models based on 5G after the network is commercialized,” said Yoon Jin-hyoun, vice president of Infra R&D Lab at KT’s Institute of Convergence Technology. “This is a place where KT and our partners can experience what 5G can offer and develop new business models from early on.”

When the Korea JoongAng Daily visited the lab on Thursday, a so-called shield room first caught this reporter’s eye. It’s called a shield room because the room is covered with a 100-millimeter (four-inch) thick steel wall that blocks radio waves that could interrupt 5G testing and keeps 5G signals inside the room.

Samsung Electronics network equipment was being tested inside the room. KT said it is testing equipment made by different manufacturers like Huawei and Ericsson.

The lab also has a showroom, media zone, infra zone and smart-x zone.

In the showroom, there are a number of products that show how 5G differs from the current 4G LTE network. For instance, smart excavators that move remotely, designed by Ericsson, demonstrate how 4G-connected and 5G-connected models respond differently to remote controls. The low latency characteristic of the 5G network enables the 5G-powered machine to respond faster to orders.

Infra zone is where partnering companies can actually build their own 5G-enabled services using KT-offered network infrastructure and cloud system while the media zone offers smart devices like virtual-reality headsets and smartphones for companies to develop immersive media services based on 5G. The smart-x zone is for companies attempting to use Internet of Things and blockchain technology to build smart factories and smart city solutions.

KT said it plans to make its core 5G-powered technologies into application program interfaces (APIs), which are building blocks of software, and offer them to partnering companies from the latter half of this year so they can build their own software without having to visit a physical lab.

KT will also open up another 5G Open Lab in its Open Innovation Lab in Pangyo, Gyeonggi, to reach more partners. The company said it plans to support over 1,000 partners by 2020 through the 5G Open Lab.

“We believe the lab will be a place for KT and partnering companies’ mutual growth,” said Jeon Hong-beom, executive director of the Infra R&D Lab of KT Institute of Convergence Technology. “And a place to find innovative services that work with 5G.”

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