KT launches telecommuting platform for call centers

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KT launches telecommuting platform for call centers

Mobile carrier KT on Monday launched a test run of a new call center platform that allows staff to telecommute rather than working in the types of cramped offices that were blamed for an outbreak of the new coronavirus in a Seoul call center last month.

The service enables call center staff to conduct work via 5G- or 4G LTE-connected smartphones. Once the mobile app is turned on and tethered to a notebook computer, the user can obtain access to the same internal network used inside the office.

Security has been the biggest obstacle for call centers to enable their staff to work from home, as employees are frequently using sensitive customer information as they perform their jobs.

Office computers and phones connected to the company network had to be brought home.

Installing the devices inside the house also entailed a substantial amount of work, including the installation of separate security equipment or software.

KT’s answer to that issue is its Enterprise Mobile Gateway, which completely separates the network dedicated to the call center service.

KT said it will begin testing the technology by allowing 10 of its call center employees to use it today. If it proves successful, the feature will be made available for other companies as well.

Safety issues for call centers arose after the outbreak of Covid-19. Call centers have desks and staff aligned side by side, making it a vulnerable environment for infectious diseases.

That concern became a reality at a call center in Guro District, western Seoul, last month. Of 1,143 people that worked, lived or visited the same building, 97 were diagnosed with the respiratory disease.

According to Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Director Jung Eun-kyeong, cases on the 11th floor, where the first confirmed patient had worked, had the infection rate of 43.5 percent, which is much higher than the 8.5 percent of the entire building.

“We applied the 5G platform technology to ensure mobility and stronger security required for taking the call center business into homes - this is only one of the business-to-business models we can realize on wired and wireless platforms via 5G connection,” said Kim Bong-ki, senior vice president at KT’s Institute of Convergence Technology.

BY SONG KYOUNG-SON [song.kyoungson@joongang.co.kr]
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