Continued Growth for South Korea’s 5G Vendors: Samsung + Many Others!

by Shim Woo-hyun of The Korea Herald (Korea)

The earnings of South Korean 5G equipment companies could regain momentum as global telecom firms seek to increase their capital expenditure on 5G network infrastructure.

The improved prospects of Samsung Electronics, the major provider of telecom equipment here, will also lead to earnings improvements of other companies, local financial reports said.

At large, 5G equipment providers here recorded significant growth so far until the third quarter last year. Their stock price had also skyrocketed until October when the global demand eased.

Radio frequency company KMW is one of the local 5G equipment firms that is expected to mark better earnings. It supplies massive multi-input and multi-output (MIMO) devices to global telecom and tech players such as SamsungHuaweiEricsson, ZTE and Nokia.

KMW is anticipated to mark 740 billion won ($633 million) in sales and 160 billion won operating income in 2019. In 2018, the company posted sales of 296.3 billion won, while its operating loss was 26.2 billion won.

(Yonhap)

Other local players that look forward to better performance this year include SeoJin System, OE Solutions and Ace Technologies.

  • SeoJin manufactures cabinets, cases and enclosures for network equipment. The sales improvement of SeoJin is largely backed by the increase in remote radio head orders from Samsung’s 5G access unit. SeoJin’s sales in 2019 are estimated to have increased by 30 percent to reach 430 billion won, while its operating profit soared 70 percent to 63 billion won.
  • Optical transceiver provider OE Solutions will also continue upward trend as it has been receiving orders from key players — SamsungEricsson and Huawei. The Gwangju-based firm started supplying its products to Japanese telecommunication firm KDDI last year through Samsung Electronics which has partnered with the Japanese firm to provide 5G equipment over the next five years.
  • Ace Technologies, a local provider of telecom antennas, filters and massive MIMO devices, is also expected to show improved performance from its major customers — EricssonSamsung Electronics, KT and SK Telecom.  Ace’s 2019 sales are estimated to reach 410 billion won, up 10 percent compared to 2018. Its operating profit is also expected to improve at 13 billion won, a 70 percent increase on-year.

Local financial reports said that the earnings of GaN-powered transistor manufacturer RFHIC could also rise along with the expansion of its partner Samsung Electronics. The company’s sales to Huawei, however, could remain stagnant, experts said.

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According to reports, the sales of the above mentioned companies last year are expected to reach 1.8 trillion, an increase of 70 percent compared to the previous year. The combined operating profit of the firms are also anticipated to reach some 300 billion won, up 500 percent from 2018.

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This article originally appeared at: http://www.koreaherald.com/view.php?ud=20200127000188

 

SK Telecom Builds ‘5G Cluster’ which includes AR, VR, and AI for South Korea

 Overview of ‘5G Cluster:”

SK Telecom today announced its strategy to build ‘5G Cluster’ nationwide to further foster 5G services and benefits.  Since the world’s first “5G” commercialization in April 2019, the number of 5G subscribers in South Korea has surpassed 1 million- far more than in any other country.

SK Telecom’s ‘5G Cluster’ is an advanced 5G environment with cutting-edge ICT including AR, VR, and AI. The Korean telco plans to build ‘5G Cluster’ in business districts, parks, factories, and etc. to provide differentiated 5G service and benefits in both of B2C and B2B sectors.

In the B2C sector, SK Telecom will operate ‘5G League of Legends (LoL) Park’ at Jonggak, Seoul, starting from July 25. At ‘5G LoL Park’, customers can view messages from supporting fans nationwide with Augmented Reality (AR) by facing their smartphones toward a certain location. Customers can also enjoy VR live broadcasting and VR playback during the games.

Starting this August, SK Telecom will provide a service that allows customers to meet a variety of animals, including giant cats and wyverns (a winged two-legged dragon with a barbed tail), using AR in Olympic Park and Yeouido Park, Seoul. For example, if customers hold their smartphones toward ‘The Lone Tree’ in Olympic Park, a giant cat will appear on smartphone screen in AR.

Moreover, the company plans to transform Jamsil Students’ Gymnasium into a 5G Stadium. SKTelecom will further expand 5G experience spaces with immersive media by the end of this year.

In the B2B sector, SK Telecom will apply 5G network and ‘Mobile Edge Computing’ (MEC) solution to SK Hynix to build a ‘5G Smart Factory’. The two companies expect that this will drastically reduce time to detect defective semiconductor products and more efficiently manage production and logistics.

Furthermore, SK Telecom plans to build a total of 12 Mobile Edge Computing (MEC) for 5G networks, to be located at key regions nationwide (South Korea). In particular, the company will provide dedicated 5G edge cloud service for enterprises that are in need of security and ultra-low latency communications, including manufacturing, media, finance, and game industry.

“With ‘5G Cluster’ as our key focus, SK Telecom will provide customers with outstanding service and pleasure that are beyond the imagination,” said Yoo Young-sang, Executive Vice President and Head of MNO Business of SK Telecom. “We will strive to create added values to different industries and regions.”

Yoo Young-sang, head of mobile network operator business at SK Telecom, speaks during a press conference at the company’s 5G smart office in Seoul, Thursday. Photo Courtesy of SK Telecom

 

“We are currently constructing smart factory systems at SK Hynix plants. We expect our 5G services will enable many companies in the manufacturing sector to use the automated logistics system and control manufacturing process in real time,” Yoo said. “By accumulating practical experiences with SK Hynix, we will bring about technological innovation.”

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About SK Telecom:

SK Telecom is the largest mobile operator in Korea with nearly 50 percent of the market share. As the pioneer of all generations of mobile networks, the company has commercialized the fifth generation (5G) network on December 1, 2018 and announced the first 5G smartphone subscribers on April 3, 2019. With its world’s best 5G, SK Telecom is set to realize the Age of Hyper-Innovation by transforming the way customers work, live and play.

Building on its strength in mobile services, the company is also creating unprecedented value in diverse ICT-related markets including media, security and commerce.

For more information, please contact skt_press@sk.com or sktelecom@bcw-global.com

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Related posts:

SK Telecom and Samsung Bring South Korea Closer to 5G Standalone Commercialization

 

MWC 2019: Korean companies set to present new world of 5G connectivity & smart phones

OpenSignal reports on 5G Speeds and 4G LTE Experience in South Korea & Other Countries

 

Global Data: 5G subs to outnumber 3G subs in South Korea by 2020

Is it possible for South Korea to have more 5G then 3G subscribers BEFORE the official “5G” = ITU-R WP5D – IMT 2020 standards are completed?

Indeed, South Korean mobile network operators plan to take an early lead in the deployment of 5G (perhaps because of the February 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang).  That would help them overcome stagnating traditional wireless service revenues, according to market research firm GlobalData.

The South Korean market’s 5G subscriber base is forecast to outnumber the 3G base by 2020, two years after the world’s first commercial 5G deployment during next year’s Pyeongchang Winter Olympics, GlobalData said in its report.

That will occur at a time when mobile voice service revenues are expected to decline at an average rate of 7% per year through to 2021, GlobalData telecom market analyst Malcolm Rogers stated.

“Operators around the globe faced with the same challenge, evolve to something more than a pipe provider or offer services that come with more utility. However, the Korean operators have been among the most proactive in growing business outside the core of communication,” he said.

“Whereas operators in some markets have been slow to react to the digital disruption caused by OTTs and internet giants like Google and Amazon, the players in South Korea have been investing in new digital business for years.”

The main South Korea wireless network operators – SK Telecom, KT and LG U+ – are focusing on a range of non-core segments including industrial IoT, payment platforms, media and commerce, Rogers added.

From the report description (see Reference below):

SK Telecom and LG U+ now offer cellular based wireless payment platforms that allow small retailers, traders and vendors to conduct business from anywhere.  All three major telecom providers have also invested in B2C and B2B e-commerce operations, venturing into an entirely new industry. 5G networks will enable operators to provide new services for industry, government and consumers.  Korea Telecom (KT) has already completed trial to offer 5G enabled entertainment services such as high definition virtual reality and 8K mobile video while SKT and KT are developing driverless car solutions and security platforms based on 5G technologies.

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South Korea plans to complete the deployment of a commercial 5G mobile network in the second half of 2019, Heo Won-seok, director of ICT and Broadcasting Technology Policy at South Korea’s Ministry of Science, ICT and Future Planning, said during a keynote presentation at the Global 5G Event, May 25, 2017 in Tokyo, Japan.

KT recently launched an AI-based home assistant service while both SK Teleom and LG U+ are offering cellular based wireless payment platforms. All three carriers are investing in business-to-consumer and business-to-business e-commerce offerings, which is an entirely new industry for those network operators.

Against this backdrop, 5G networks are expected to allow the network operators to introduce new services targeting industry, government and consumer markets, according to GlobalData.

For example, KT is already exploring offering 5G-enabled entertainment services including 8k mobile video streaming, while SK Telecom and KT are developing driverless car solutions and security platforms based on 5G technologies.

References:

https://www.globaldata.com/south-korean-telcos-bank-5g-digital-traditional-business-stagnate/

https://www.telecomasia.net/content/5g-subs-overtake-3g-korea-2020

http://communicationstoday.co.in/daily-news/15285-south-korean-telcos-bank-on-5g-and-digital-as-traditional-business-stagnate

https://phys.org/news/2017-02-south-korea-olympics-5g-year.html

https://www.rcrwireless.com/20170525/5g/south-korea-launch-first-commercial-5g-network-2019

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