BARCELONA, Feb. 24 (Korea Bizwire) — Consumers have heard a lot about 5G over the past year, but the time has come for leading telecom and tech players to show what can be done with the next-generation mobile network in the largest mobile industry show of the year.
South Korean mobile carriers and electronics companies have geared up to showcase their latest 5G technology, artificial intelligence (AI) and connected devices at the Mobile World Congress (MWC) Barcelona 2019, which runs from Monday to Thursday under the theme of “Intelligent Connectivity.”
Just a week ahead of 5G commercialization on their home turf, Korean telecom companies will announce new products and services during the mobile show, exploring new business opportunities with industry players in smartphones, networks, software and content.
SK Telecom Co., the nation’s leading mobile carrier, said it will introduce various 5G applications and immersive content based on virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR).
SKT plans to show how 5G can greatly improve productivity in factories and offices by using AI, robots, connected devices and security solutions.
The company will unveil its “5G Hyper Space Platform,” allowing visitors to experience simulated reality with VR headsets. In a VR shopping mall and hotel, participants can even shop and make room reservations, the firm said.
“Commercialization of 5G is speeding up technology integration, highlighting the importance of cooperation at the global level,” SK Telecom said. “As only a few companies have shown 5G solutions for the commercial market, we expect global telecom and ICT companies to show interest in partnerships with SKT.”
Its rival KT Corp. said it will unveil a wide range of mobile-connected products and services to get ahead in the race for 5G dominance.
KT is joining the GSMA Innovation City exhibition alongside leading brands such as Google and Huawei to present its connected devices, immersive content and services under the theme “5G becomes reality.”
The company will exhibit Skyship, a 5G-enabled real-time airborne platform for disaster management, and provide a hands-on experience for remote autonomous driving and inspection of a 5G factory zone.
It will also present 5G-connected robots, AR glasses, remote support solutions for enterprises, a VR baseball park, a 360-degree video zone and a robot hotel.
KT Chairman Hwang Chang-gyu plans to deliver his third MWC keynote speech to unveil his 5G vision, following similar addresses in 2015 and 2017.
KT said Hwang plans to visit the exhibition halls of Samsung Electronics, Ericsson and Nokia to explore business opportunities with the major wireless equipment manufacturers.
LG Uplus Corp., the nation’s smallest player in the telecom field, said it will push for strategic partnerships with global telecom firms, handset makers and media companies during this year’s event.
The mobile carrier will present remote-controlled robots, smart drones, smart CCTV and a blockchain payment service for businesses. Visitors can, moreover, enjoy baseball, golf and K-pop, as well as AR, VR and hologram content based on 5G.
CEO Ha Hyun-hoi plans to meet with senior officials of major mobile operators, including Verizon, T-Mobile and Vodafone, to discuss 5G strategy and fresh business opportunities, LG Uplus said.
“LG Uplus’ 5G technologies and services will illustrate how the advanced cellular technology can change everyday lives in a better way,” the company said in a release.
LG Uplus, which provides Netflix videos on its set-top boxes, expressed a hope to form partnerships with major media players to provide AR, VR, AI and Internet of Things services in connection with 5G.
The company is teaming up with LG Electronics Inc. to unveil the latter’s first 5G smartphone, V50 ThinQ, on the eve of MWC.
Its bigger rival Samsung Electronics Co. already debuted its 5G variant of its flagship Galaxy S10 and a foldable phone in a closely watched Unpacked event held in San Francisco and London on Wednesday.
Samsung plans to launch its 5G-model foldable smartphone in South Korea in May with a higher price tag than the U.S.’ 4G version, according to company sources. The Galaxy S10 5G model will hit shelves on March 8 in major markets.
The tech giant will live broadcast the MWC 2019 Barcelona’s official media channel using its 5G network on big screens throughout the Fira Gran Via venue and about 280 hotels in Barcelona, as well as stream the event live globally.