KT gets busy with IoT, LTE-M and 5G

KT has been busy at Mobile World Congress this week with announcements and demonstrations illustrating the Korean telco’s intentions with making rapid progress in the realms of machine to machine communications and 5G.

At MWC, the telco signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Nokia Networks, in which it has been confirmed that a lab facility dedicated to IoT advancements will be developed on-premises at KT, as well as a dedicated “LTE-M” test site. Nokia has agreed to support the advancement of both facilities with all three of its businesses: Nokia Networks, HERE and Nokia Technologies.

A statement from Nokia confirmed that “The MoU aims to develop an IoT convergence business model covering IoT Future Convergence Solutions and the automotive industry.”  Nokia also referred to the work as driving progress towards the “Programmable World”.

In this instance, Nokia and KT refer to LTE-M as Machine-to-Machine communications over an LTE network, linking together wearable devices, cars and smart-grid elements of IoT. Nokia and KT will continue to work on developing LTE-M, which both claim will enable the cost-efficient connection of a massive numbers of sensors, even in remote areas with poor coverage.

Dr. Chang-Gyu Hwang, KT’s chairman, said the demonstrations being conducted at MWC are a big stepping stone for enabling more wide-spread adoption of IoT.

“KT believes that the IoT era presents huge opportunities for manufacturers, operators, and service providers, and aims to boost the IoT ecosystem by providing ICT convergence services and collaborating with industry leaders,” he said. “We believe the strategic partnership between Nokia and KT can accelerate future innovation by leveraging new business models in IoT and 5G, and the joint demonstration of LTE-M at MWC is an example of this. The collaboration between the two companies will lay solid foundations for us to move forward in the IoT world.”

The two firms will also collaborate on potential areas for 5G advancement, with a view to conducting field trials of 5G at the PyeongChang Winter Olympic Games in 2018.

Meanwhile, KT’s also signed an MoU with Ericsson at MWC to help drive the development of 5G. The agreement will focus on cross-collaboration for some of the key barriers to 5G advancement, including standardisation, spectrum, network architecture and deployment, plus IoT.

Thomas Norén, a VP at Ericsson, reckons the “Networked Society” will see unthinkable mobile network speeds compared to today’s LTE services.

“5G will be a key component in the industry’s movement towards the Networked Society,” he said. “KT is an early driver of technology, and we believe that the collaboration with KT will provide benefits to users and to industries. With ultra-high bitrates of more than 10Gbps, we will deliver radio network capability of more than 1,000 times today’s LTE networks.”

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