Carriers unveil new 5G services

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Carriers unveil new 5G services

With the big 5G launch scheduled for next month, mobile carriers are busily announcing new services based on the super-fast network.

SK Telecom on Monday said it will embed quantum cryptography technologies in its new 5G network to secure safer network infrastructure for users. The company plans to expand the technology to its existing 4G LTE network next month.

The speed of a 5G network is said to be around 20 times faster than the current 4G LTE. Such speeds, backed by the ability to process even larger quantities of data, could make the network more vulnerable to hacking, according to SK Telecom.

“Network security has been a globally essential and widely talked-about issue,” said a spokesperson for SK Telecom. “Though the current network already boasts of safe security, the security issue has risen as a more important topic in the [coming] 5G network era, where the network could be connected to service industries like medicine and self-driving. We prepared this technology as even a little bit of security concern could threaten people’s lives.”

Quantum cryptography essentially creates digital keys that only the distributor and receiver of data can decode to reduce risks of data being hacked.

Starting this month, SK Telecom has begun adding Swiss-based quantum key solution provider ID Quantique’s quantum random number generator to its 5G network subscriber authentication process. The generator can create random numbers with the absence of any pattern.

The subscriber authentication process is an indispensable step before accessing the mobile communication network to prevent the leakage of personal information and data processed while the user is using the network.

The system will be available for use only among SK Telecom users as of now, but it is technically feasible to embed the technology to the systems of two other local carriers - KT and LG U+ - according to SK Telecom.

Quantum cryptography technologies have been mostly developed centering on device manufacturers,” said a spokesperson for SK Telecom. “[Other] mobile carriers are continuously reviewing the commercialization period of the technologies to offer the [advanced technology] service.”

KT is also busily introducing 5G-related services with only a few weeks to go before the 5G networks launch.

KT announced Monday that it will use its 5G network to air SBS’s “Morning Wide” in ultra-high definition today.

The company will use its corporate 5G network and 5G mobile news gathering device to shoot the broadcast. The device is a broadcasting camera that can send recorded video over a wireless network.

There are several limits that broadcasting firms encounter upon the current system. They currently receive recorded videos from LTE mobile news gathering devices. Videos have to be sent separately, which is said to be feasible only under stable networks, costing a lot of transmission time.

The sent videos also have low image quality. KT hopes to overcome these limits through the application of its 5G network and related technology.


BY JIN MIN-JI [jin.minji@joongang.co.kr]

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