Verizon Not Affected By KT’s Quest To Become First 5G Carrier In The World
According to a report published by the Korea IT News recently this week, South Korean wireless carrier KT has practically declared that it will become the first mobile operator in the world to successfully commercialize 5G technology about three years from now. The company had initially planned to roll out its 5G tech in 2020, but has since decided to push for a 2019 launch.
KT’s efforts does not appear to deter America’s biggest mobile carrier, Verizon Wireless, who in its own right is also working to make its 5G tech commercially available in the United States a few years from now. Interestingly, the Big Red has involved itself in 5G related development efforts together with KT.
Still, KT seems nearer to its goal compared to other carriers across the globe. As explained by Oh Seong-mok, the director of KT Network Sector, the 5G Special Interest Group (5G-SIG) currently headed by KT is busy working on standards that will become the basis for 3GPP’s (Third Generation Partnership Project) international standards. KT is looking to debut its 5G tech in the upcoming 2018 Winter Olympics to be held in the county of Pyeongchang in South Korea, and right after that, it is planning to commence rolling out the tech to consumers one year later. As for its 5G-SIG, KT is looking to come up with 5G standards with the help of other powerhouse names in the world of tech, including Samsung, Ericsson, Nokia, Qualcomm, and Intel.
Verizon Wireless had inked a Memorandum of Understanding with KT back in June earlier this year in order to join forces in developing next generation mobile and broadband technologies, including 5G tech, SDN/NFV, and GiGA tech. On top of that, the Big Red is also teaming up with other Asia based wireless carriers, including NTT DoCoMo and SK Telecom, as part of the 5G Open Trial Specification Alliance. For those not familiar with this alliance, it exists to make information on 5G testing available to everyone and to compile use cases with regards to the early development of 5G related tech and services.
Despite Verizon’s and KT’s collaborative relationship, there are bound to be some complexities. First of all, the Big Red’s specifications for fixed wireless are not matching up with the 3GPP’s standards. But there is hope -- it bears noting that 3GPP is still in a study phase, at least in the next four months, and coupled with Verizon’s continued adjustments, it is quite possible that the two can achieve a closer alignment of specs.