SEOUL, Feb. 24 (Korea Bizwire) — South Korea’s telecommunication firms are turning to the business-to-business (B2B) industry to survive in the era of the Fourth Industrial Revolution, based on the realization that the business-to-consumer (B2C) area, where companies reap profits from mobile plans, is reaching its limit as almost all South Koreans now own a mobile phone.
The Big 3 mobile carriers – SK Telecom Co., KT Corp. and LG Uplus Corp. – plan to expand communication services to cloud services, smart factories, and smart homes based on 5G networks that feature high speed, large storage, and low-latency capabilities.
SK Telecom plans to introduce 5G Mobile Edge Computing (MEC) services for businesses in the fields of distribution, gaming, media, and manufacturing, and offer MEC infrastructure services tailored to the needs of each enterprise.
Last December, SK Telecom concluded a global MEC partnership with Amazon Web Services that currently leads the global cloud services market.
KT plans to accommodate all industries in its 5G network, starting with seven major fields including smart factories and connected cars.
Among the top seven, KT plans to focus on establishing 5G-based smart factories and smart hospitals.
KT is currently working with Severance Hospital to develop 5G and AI-based emergency medical systems.
The company also plans to work with the National Fire Agency and Severance Hospital to create a 5G network environment on ambulances to test a 5G-based emergency medical system.
LG Uplus is currently developing a 5G-V2X-based autonomous driving technology at LG Science Park in Magok, western Seoul, with the aim to connect the company’s 5G network with C-ITS technology, LG Electronics’ 5G-V2X communication device, and 5G-based MEC low-latency technology to generate synergy among LG affiliates.
Experts argue, however, that B2B services are still in a fledgling state, and that they require a long time to come up with meaningful performance.
Setting up a 28 ㎓ band for 5G networking stands out as the most crucial project to enable smart factories and cloud storage services.
Mobile carriers currently use 3.5 ㎓ bands for 5G networks, which will speed up by 20 times once the 28 ㎓ band is set up.
“The B2B market is expected to grow once 5G expands,” said a source familiar with the industry. “It is difficult, however, to determine exactly when we will be able to see significant returns in the B2B market.”
H. M. Kang (firstname.lastname@example.org)