[THE INVESTOR] PYEONGCHANG, Gangwon Province – With 50 days until the PyeongChang 2018 Winter Olympic Games, engineers at KT are working hard to ensure a flawless worldwide broadcast of the Olympics.
It took 1,000 days for KT, an official telecommunications partner of the Olympics, to establish telecom networks for streaming and broadcasting the games.
KT Chairman Hwang Chang-gyu (second from left) attends the opening ceremony of the 5G Village cafe in Euiyaji Village in Daegwanryeong, Gangwon Province, Dec. 20. KT.
“In the worst case, if the network for game streaming has some errors, it’s the end of the world, and all games will be stopped,” said Lee Jong-dae, vice president at KT’s Olympic network operation bureau in an operating room in western part of Gangneung, Gangwon Province.
Located about 30 kilometers away from PyeongChang, the West Gangneung KT office is the control tower of all of the telecom services -- from third generation to fifth generation -- for the international sports event.
“In order to prevent serious errors, we have set network equipment in a double-dual manner, and a real-time tracking system based on Narrow Band-Internet of Things Network to spot abnormal signs in the networks and fix the problems right away, minimizing the trouble time,” Lee said.
At a final technology rehearsal conducted by the International Olympic Committee last week, the KT networks reached 100 percent in response rate and service level agreement, the world’s first.
“IOC officials were even saying that they can’t believe what they are seeing now in terms of how fast and perfect the network services can be,” the KT official said.
KT has also applied its voice-activated artificial intelligence platform dubbed “Prometheus” to prevent network trouble at the company’s 5G Center installed near the Alpensia Ski Jump Center.
AI Prometheus monitors and predicts possible trouble in networks based on its deep learning algorithm, and provides human operators with solutions.
With a goal of making the world’s first ICT Olympics and being the first provider of 5G network services, KT has invested more than 100 billion won in establishing the telecom infrastructure for the Olympic venues.
The company, for the last three years, developed technological specifications for the 5G network, chipset and device, possibly moving forward commercialization of the next-generation network to early 2019.
The 5G network systems are installed in PyeongChang, Gangneung, Incheon Airport, Pangyo, Bogwang, Gwanghwamun and Gangnam Station areas, with experiential zones where consumers enjoy the Olympic Games with 5G services.
KT has so far unveiled five 5G services for the Olympics: Interactive Time Slice, Sync View, 360-degree Live VR, Omni-Point View and Connected Bus.
“5G and ICT Olympics are being realized with our network system for the first time,” said Oh Seong-mok, president of network business at KT.
“The PyeongChang Olympic games will not just be watched, but be experienced in an immersive way with the 5G services.”
On Dec. 20, in Euiyaji Village, a small village of about 6,000 residents at an altitude of over 700 meters in Daegwanryeong, an opening ceremony of a cafe named “Flower Garden Sunny Place” where Olympic visitors can stop by for coffee and experiencing KT’s 5G services including mixed reality games and augmented reality-based home shopping, was held.
KT Chairman Hwang Chang-gyu attended the ceremony and showed confidence in its leadership in the 5G era.
“We will definitely lead the 5G competition in the ‘fourth industrial revolution’ era,” Hwang told reporters. “PyeongChang‘s 5G is ready now, and the world will be surprised.”
“AI, 5G and blockchain technologies will be realized next year,” he added.
By Song Su-hyun/The Korea Herlad (firstname.lastname@example.org)