|Key executives of South Africa's mobile operator Rain try on LG Uplus' 5G services at U+ 5G Innovation Lab in Magok, western Seoul, April 10. / Courtesy of LG Uplus|
By Jun Ji-hye
Telecommunications companies from various countries are visiting Korea to benchmark mobile carriers here that launched the world's first commercial fifth-generation (5G) mobile networks services on April 3, officials said Monday.
On April 10, key executives of South Africa's newest mobile operator Rain, including Chairman Paul Harris and CEO Willem Roos, visited LG Uplus' office in Magok, western Seoul, to benchmark the Korean mobile carrier's 5G services, network construction and operation strategy.
Rain is the only telecom company that possesses a 5G frequency in South Africa, according to LG Uplus.
The visit from the South African company came after officials from Japan's telecom firm Softbank and the United Kingdom's British Telecommunications visited LG Uplus.
Rain executives showed interest in particular in the Korean firm's virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) services as well as smart city and smart drone services.
"We have received an increasing number of requests for a visit from telecommunications companies from other countries including Hong Kong," an official from LG Uplus said.
The nation's top mobile carrier SK Telecom has also had an increasing number of visits from global telecom firms.
Key executives from Singaporean telecommunications company Singtel including CEO Chua Sock Koong visited the head office of SK Telecom in Seoul on April 9 for a meeting with SK Telecom CEO Park Jung-ho on content business and 5G services.
The meeting of the two CEOs came after the two companies signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) for cooperation in esports business during the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona in February.
Officials from Germany's Deutsche Telekom are also scheduled to visit SK Telecom in June to check how Korea's top mobile carrier has constructed its 5G networks and what kinds of services it offers.
During the MWC, SK Telecom signed an MOU with Deutsche Telekom to jointly develop a blockchain platform that will enable people to use digital identification.
Board of directors and executives from Vietnam Post and Telecommunication (VNPT) visited KT on March 14 to benchmark the Korean telecom firm's major 5G sites, including 5G Open Lab in which KT collaborates with partners to develop 5G services, according to KT.
"Officials from KT also gave a presentation on 5G networks and services during the ASEAN Conference on 5G, hosted by the Vietnamese government in Hanoi from March 21 to 22," a KT official said.
Telecom firms and equipment companies from about 10 countries including Malaysia and Laos participated in the conference, showing an interest in KT's advanced technology.
Korea's three mobile carriers launched the world's first commercial 5G mobile networks for a select group of customers April 3, just two hours before U.S. mobile carrier Verizon began its service.
Then on April 5, the Korean firms started selling Samsung's Galaxy S10 5G, the world's first dedicated 5G smartphone.