Korea’s largest telecom operator SK Telecom signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the Korea National Policy Agency (KNPA) and the Korea Road Traffic Authority (KoROAD) to cooperate in sharing traffic signal information and T Map data and to jointly develop 5G technologies for transportation infrastructure.
Under the terms of this agreement, SK Telecom will advance its T Map service by utilizing KNPA’s traffic signal information, specifically, by displaying the signal information on T Map routes and enhancing the accuracy of arrival time prediction.
KNPA will utilize the T Map traffic data provided by SK Telecom to upgrade its traffic signal system.
Moreover, the Korean carrier and KoROAD will join forces to verify the relevant technologies and to establish a testbed for 5G-based traffic signal system. After the verification, they will apply the 5G network to traffic signal system so that existing traffic signal devices can be transformed into 5G-based infrastructure with reliability and stability.
“We expect to expand our 5G, mobility, and B2B businesses through collaboration with KNPA and KoROAD,” said Ryu Young-sang, Head of MNO Business of SK Telecom. “SK Telecom will endeavor to secure competitiveness in infrastructure and service for autonomous driving in collaboration with various business partners.”
SK Telecom has reached 1.5 million subscribers in the 5G segment as of the end of October, representing a share of 44% in the local 5G market, the carrier’s CFO Poong-Young Yoon said on a conference call with investors.
The executive said that the company expects to end this year with over 2 million 5G subscribers. “By the end of 2020, we expect to have a total of 7 million subscribers in the 5G segment,” he said.
South Korea claimed to be the first country in the world to launch full 5G commercial services on April 3. 5G coverage in Korea is restricted to urban areas and places where there are a large number of people.
The three Korean carriers launched limited 5G commercial services in December 2018 as part of an agreement with the ICT ministry to launch simultaneously to avoid excessive competition. The three mobile carriers initially launched the 5G service in limited areas in Seoul
In June 2018, South Korea completed a tender process through which it awarded spectrum in both the 3.5 GHz and 28 GHz bands. The government made available a total of 280 megahertz in the 3.5 GHz spectrum band and 2,400 megahertz in the 28 GHz band. The spectrum was divided into 28 blocks and 24 blocks.
Participant operators SK Telecom, KT, and LG Uplus had a 10-block cap per spectrum band. The telcos paid a total of 3.6183 trillion won ($3.3 billion) for the spectrum, 340 billion won higher than the starting price of 3.3 trillion won.
The 3.5 GHz band licenses covering a ten-year period and the 28 GHz band licenses a five-year term.