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KT Chairman Touts 5G as ‘Key to Human Prosperity’ at WKF 2019

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Chairman Hwang Chang-Gyu of KT Corporation called on the world to promote prosperity through 5G’s connectivity, at the World Knowledge Forum (WKF) 2019, held last week in Seoul under the theme of “5G, Innovation for Prosperity.”

In his speech at the “5G, The Future of Technology Innovation: Revolution for Prosperity” session, Chairman Hwang said 5G’s connectivity will ensure that the fruits of the Fourth Industrial Revolution benefit all industries and individuals. It was his first speech at the WKF in 15 years. His speech to the 2004 forum was as CEO of Samsung Electronics Co.

Hwang emphasized that data-based artificial intelligence (AI) is needed to optimize the potential of next-generation mobile communication technology to bring enormous change. To this end, he encouraged flexible approaches and openness from individuals, corporations and governments as well as international organizations.

“Individuals should have a flexible attitude to agree to the use of their personal information for public purposes only,” he said at the WKF 2019 held September 25-27. “I also urge corporations to be more open toward the use of corporate data through open innovation, governments to ease regulations on the usage of 5G, and international organizations to provide guidelines for proper use of data.”

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Hwang, invited as “Mr. 5G” at the WKF, also elaborated on KT’s effort to introduce the world’s first 5G commercial services. In 2015, he declared KT’s 5G vision at the Mobile World Congress, the largest world fair of the mobile industry. He outlined a new industrial revolution powered by next-generation technology.

5G thus emerged as a global issue in telecommunications business and advanced discussions on its worldwide standardization. The global standardization of 5G was accomplished 21 months faster than that of 4G, known as long-term evolution (LTE).

In February 2018, KT showcased the world’s first 5G trial services at the PyeongChang Winter Olympics, thereby consolidating its leadership role in the latest mobile communication technology. It went on to call for greater interest in 5G in the global community at a series of international events, including the UN Global Compact, the World Economic Forum and the G20 Summit.

In his speech at the Seoul forum on September 25, Hwang also explained KT’s passion for 5G stemmed from its conviction that the next-generation technology is the key to resolving economic uncertainty as well as various social problems. He declared that it will provide the core infrastructure for prosperity of mankind.

He presented the cases of KT’s success in realizing the potential of 5G technology, such as smart factories and shipyards, showing videos introducing 5G-based integrated management of outdoor storage yards, improving staff safety and resolving problems from shortages of skilled workers. In video interviews, an executive of Hyundai Heavy Industries and the CEO of a small company acknowledged the positive influence of 5G they have experienced in upgrading their industrial competitiveness.

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KT’s “5G Remote Cockpit” is expected to be a life saver in emergencies, Hwang went on.  If necessary, Remote Cockpit can move a vehicle to a safer space as well as call for an ambulance in the “golden hour” when survival chances are highest immediately after an accident.

Hwang introduced KT’s “5G Safety Platform,” which is designed to help reduce damage from typhoons and earthquakes and other natural disasters, all of which cost an estimated US$210 billion (approximately 250 trillion won) worldwide annually. He also introduced KT’s SKYSHIP, an airborne platform for disaster safety and management.

Environmental problems can also be resolved through 5G and other ICT technologies, Hwang continued. For representative examples, he presented KT’s “Air Map Platform,” designed to cope with fine dust based on 5G and IoT, and “Global Epidemic Prevention Platform” (GEPP). He drew keen attention by recommending KT’s “Livestock Epidemic Prevention Platform” to the UN Food and Agriculture Organization.

GEPP has already proven to be highly effective in handling epidemics. KT developed a smart quarantine system in cooperation with the Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention when an outbreak of Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) struck South Korea in 2015. Some 16,600 individuals were isolated, 186 were diagnosed of the disease, and 38 lost their lives. When the disease erupted in 2018, however, one individual was diagnosed with the disease and cured.

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