KT taps Samsung to expand PS-LTE coverage in South Korea

03 May 2019

Samsung has signed an agreement with KT to help expand the telco’s public safety LTE (PS-LTE) network in South Korea, the vendor announced.

The expansion deal will see Samsung provide KT with LTE network solutions based on 3GPP Release 13 in 10 major metropolitan regions in South Korea including Seoul by 2020.

The expanded deal will also see the pair deliver what they say is the world’s first narrowband Internet of Things (NB-IoT) service over the PS-LTE network to help prevent and respond to natural disasters such as fires and people stranded in remote, mountainous areas.

In addition to LTE radio base stations that support 700-MHz, Samsung is providing KT with a virtualized core and features such as MCPTT solutions, RAN sharing, evolved Multimedia Broadcast Multicast Service (eMBMS), Isolated eUTRAN Operation for Public Safety (IOPS), and device to device (D2D) network solutions.

For instance, D2D allows direct and undisrupted communications between any two devices without traversing radio base stations or core networks, even in areas where bases stations are not provided.

Samsung said D2D and NB-IoT technologies will play crucial roles in public safety network by ensuring stable, seamless, and reliable network in unfavorable environments.

“By acquiring innovative wireless communications from Samsung, we are able to aid in life-threatening situations where data traffic is severely congested or connection is completely out of reach,” said Yoon-Young Park, senior executive vice president and head of enterprise business group at KT. “These first-of their-kind networks help responders connect with those in need.”

KT and Samsung have been collaborated since 2016. The pair deployed the first PS-LTE network in 2016 throughout Gangwon (Pyeongchang) province of South Korea.

In 2017, the companies delivered LTE-railway service on a high-speed train traveling at up to 250 km/hour (155 mph) using MCPTT solutions.

The two companies are now aiming to expand the PS-LTE network further into the metropolitan areas around the country, including Seoul, Gyeonggi, Gangwon, Jeolla, Gyeongbuk and Chungnam provinces.

South Korea’s three major carriers-KT, SK Telecom and LG Uplus- launched full-fledged commercial 5G services in early April and racked up over 260,000 5G subscribers that month.

Image: iStock Photo

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