LG U+ signs deal with Kuwait's Zain Group for K-pop VR, AR
LG U+ is targeting the Middle East to export K-pop-related content based on virtual and augmented reality technologies via an agreement with Zain Group, a Kuwait-based telecommunication company operating throughout the region.
The mobile carrier announced the agreement during MWC 2022 in Barcelona Thursday in a move aimed at seizing on the popularity of K-pop groups.
LG U+CEO Hwang Hyeon-sik said that telecom operators in the Middle East and Latin America expressed interest in bringing the K-pop-focused service to the region.
"The major source of our extended reality content includes live performances by K-pop groups," Hwang said during a press conference. "Since they are well-received around the globe, I met with the interested companies from the Middle East and South America regions."
Zain Group offers wireless network services to around 50 million subscribers in Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, Iraq, Jordan, Bahrain and South Sudan.
Asked whether those countries have built 5G network infrastructure required to stream the content using VR or AR, Vice President Choi Yoon-ho said "it varies depending on country, but they are on track to launch 5G service."
Rollout for the service will differ by country, according to Choi.
CEO Hwang expressed expectations to extend the deal to export its U+DIVE app to Kuwait.
Introduced last year in Korea, the app let viewers travel through a virtual exhibition hall featuring K-pop stars and play different games and participate in various missions prepared in the virtual space.
At the MWC, Hwang struck an agreement with Omantel, the top mobile carrier in Oman, to sell the content and the technologies used to realize the extended-reality offering.
LG U+ sold a combined $24 million worth of such content to Asian telecom players, including China Telecom, Hong Kong's PCCW, Japan's KDDI and Taiwan's ChungHwa Telecom.
Hwang also met with Qualcomm CEO Cristiano Amon to discuss ways to increase membership of an alliance on extended reality content.
LG U+ presently chairs Global XR Content Telco Alliance, a multinational alliance intended to foster cooperation in creating AR or VR based content running on 5G networks.
The member companies include: Qualcomm, Bell Canada, China Telecom, Japan's KDDI; Montreal, Canada-based Felix & Paul Studios and Paris-based Atlas V. The members have jointly invested to create large-scale AR and VR videos.
BY PARK EUN-JEE [firstname.lastname@example.org]