Naver will use Intel’s computing solution based on KT’s 5G communications network
Naver, which is South Korea’s largest Internet portal and search engine, plans to develop 5G-enabled service robots in partnership with compatriot carrier KT and U.S. tech firm Intel.
The partnership would allow Naver Labs, the company’s research and development subsidiary, to use Intel’s computing solution based on KT’s 5G communication network.
The deal between the three partners had been signed at the Mobile World Congress 2019, held last week in Barcelona, Spain.
“The commercialization of 5G technology would create new business opportunities, and smart factories and service robots serve as such examples,” said Kwon Myeong-sook, president of Intel Korea.
Under the terms of the deal, KT will provide its edge cloud infrastructure with its 5G network, which will serve as a basis for the service robots to send and receive data.
“KT looks forward to leading the global industry by fusing our 5G commercial network and the Edge Cloud infrastructure with advanced technologies from Naver and Intel,” said Lee Yong-Gyoo, a KT official.
In December 2018, KT officially launched its 5G network commercial service, through an AI-equipped robot named Lota. The robot guides visitors through the Seoul Sky Observatory, which sits on top of Lotte World Tower in eastern Seoul. The company said it aims to expand its 5G offerings in the coming months.
KT deployed the first phase of its 5G network in late November. The new service has been launched in the greater Seoul metropolitan area, in the country’s most populated, major metropolitan cities outside Seoul and in isolated areas including Jeju, Ulleung and Dok islands.
KT said it plans to expand its nationwide 5G network to 24 major cities, key transport routes such as expressways, subways, high-speed railways, large universities and neighborhood shopping areas.
Rival operators SK Telecom and LG Uplus have also recently launched initial 5G services in certain areas of Seoul and other metropolitan areas. SK Telecom recently said that its 5G offering for the corporate segment will be provided as a package with mobile routers and network services.
LG Uplus said it has been deploying base stations to launch its commercial 5G offering since October. The carrier said it will have more than 7,000 base stations by the end of December. It has already set up 4,100 5G base stations in 11 cities including Seoul, Incheon, Daejeon, Bucheon, Goyang, Gwangmyeong, Hanam and other cities in Gyeonggi Province.
LG Uplus also plans to adapt its 5G service to various sectors, such as the remote control of heavy equipment and agricultural machines, drones, CCTV, smart factories and smart cities.
Last spring, the three Korean mobile operators announced plans to share the costs for the deployment of a nationwide 5G network in the Asian nation, to be carried out by SK Telecom, KT and LG Uplus as well as broadband operator SK Broadband. This shared infrastructure projects had the main aim of avoiding redundant investment in 5G deployments, according to government officials.
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