S. Korean mobile carriers ready to start limited 5G service this week

Park Sae-jin Reporter Posted : 2018-11-29 15:21 Updated : 2018-11-29 16:08
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[SK Telecom]

SEOUL -- South Korea's top mobile carrier, SK Telecom (SKT), will offer the world's first commercialized 5G service this week, using a next-generation convergence technology of quantum cryptography, artificial intelligence and network security.

SKT said in a statement Thursday that its 5G service would be offered first to companies in Seoul and other major cities on December 1, using business-to-business mobile routers which transform 5G communication signals into Wi-Fi users. 

Two other domestic mobile carriers, KT and LGU+, will also start 5G services partially in big cities on December 1. Full commercial service for ordinary clients will begin in March next year when three companies complete the establishment of a nationwide network for smartphone users.

SKT will apply its convergence technology simultaneously for 5G services. Because 5G networks transfer a large packet of data, it is important to control data traffic. AI will predict a sudden surge in traffic and automatically control base station antennae to disperse data traffic to lesser crowded stations.

SKT will use quantum cryptographic technology for its 5G network. The first customer is a car parts maker in Ansan, a southwestern industrial satellite city of Seoul. SKT's 5G and AI technology will be used to filter defect products from manufacturing lines.

SKT has commercialized a quantum cryptographic communication system. Quantum cryptography allows the completion of various cryptographic tasks. The company has already developed the world's smallest five-square-millimeter quantum random number generator chip, a hardware which generates random numbers to transmit data securely.

In a message to employees, SKT president Park Jung-ho said the company would develop next-generation technologies that can secure infrastructure security and stability, such as quantum cryptography and AI networks.

"As core infrastructure to lead the Fourth Industrial Revolution, 5G and AI will spur an era of superconnection and superfusion," he said. "Through the precise and swift connection of everything that has been offline until now, new industries and values beyond imagination will come."