KT's 5G trial services that it had developed for 2018 PyeongChang Winter Olympic Games were presented to the world at an ongoing test event called Hello PyeongChang (since last November until April). With around 300 days until the Olympic, the telco is carrying out various demonstrations in the test event where actual games as well as the Olympic rehearsal are being held. KT has been testing its 5G services developed based on 'KT 5G specifications' (also known as 'PyeongChang 5G specifications') in the actual games using a 5G trial network that it deployed - also based on the same specifications - around the PyeongChang Alpensia Resort area.
Last month (on the 14th), KT hosted '5G Media Day' in the resort, presenting and demonstrating 5G services that it developed for the Olympic event, including the following two categories:
5G Immersive service:
5G immersive service enables viewers to have the same experience that players at arena have and feel as though they are actually in the arena by streaming games through 5G gears like camera, communication equipment and sensors attached onto players, sports gears and arenas, so that viewers can watch using their mobile apps. KT's four key 5G immersive services are:
New 5G services that debuted:
- 5G autonomous driving bus and drone delivery
- MR torch relay and VR Walk Through
The test event offered a great opportunity to learn about the PyeongChang 5G network, look into 5G service tested in actual games, and take a sneak peek into 5G services to be launched soon as to be discussed below.
■ Four key 5G immersive services - tested in actual games held during PyeongChang Rehearsal Games
5G immersive services initially tested in the 1st test event in February 2016 were tested again in the 2nd test event held in February and March this year. KT selected four key 5G immersive services and had them offered and tested in actual games during this Hello PyeongChang Test event (2016.11 - 2017.04).
The 2nd test event: Four key 5G immersive services
1) Sync View
This time, LTE modules were used for transmission of UHD (4K) video in the test, but they will be replaced by 5G modules when this service is actually used in the Olympic event. Given the average speeds of 120-150 km of bobsleigh, the Sync View technology will further evolve to be applied to fast-moving objects or sports, offering UHD immersive video streaming.
'Sync View' service
2) Interactive Time Slice
'Interactive Time Slice' service
3) 360° VR Live
'360° VR Live' service
4) Omni Point View
Omni Point View app will be expanded to Omni View app that serves as a portal where 5G immersive services can be offered, presenting a 5G Virtual Arena for the Olympic.
'Omni Point View' service
■ PyeongChang 5G trial network
The system of PyeongChang 5G network will be built based on 'PyeongChang 5G specifications', a pre-standard specifications. KT, No. 1 IPTV service provider in the nation, has had keen interests in next-generation media services, such as massive content live broadcasting, and has been attempting to make the services a new 5G-driven business model that supports ultra-fast speeds and ultra-low latency
. The Olympic Games will give the telcos a great opportunity to have the relevant services and technologies checked out and shared by users and players in the market.
For live broadcasting, low-latency transmission is required at the end-to-end level as well as across the air link. And for that reason, the core network in 5G PyeongChang Network is designed to have distributed architecture to ensure user traffic and services are processed at the edges of the network. The access network features advanced C-RAN architecture where CUs (Central Units) are separated from DUs (Distributed Units (BBU-RFU), and that allows all of the 5G radio access functions not requiring real-time processing to be located in CUs while other functions requiring real-time processing are located in Baseband Units (BBUs).
KT is now deploying a trial network that has a central core node in its 5G R&D Center in Seoul (Umyeon-dong) and each distributed core node, designed to processing traffic and services in the Olympic area, in HoengGye CO and GangNeung CO near PyeongChang/JeongSeon/GangNeung areas. At the edges of this network are CUs that are in charge of processing non-real time functions. Also, BBUs and antenna (RFUs) are deployed across the cell sites near arenas to handle real-time functions of the base stations. CUs and BBUs are built in PyeongChang 5G Center, and the CUs are connected to core nodes located in HoengGye CO.
PyeongChang 5G trial network architecture
■ 5G autonomous driving bus
KT gave demonstrations of a 5G autonomous driving bus and drone delivery in the 5G test network that it had deployed around the PyeongChang Alpensia Resort. Windows on the bus served as transparent display panels that display driving information and images, and passengers on the bus could experience other 5G immersive services like AR and hologram.
The bus, co-developed Hyundai Motors, is equipped with some of the newest features like autonomous driving control technology developed in collaboration with Unmanned Solution and vehicle connectivity technology based on the telco's Vehicle-to-infrastructure (V2I) communication solution.
KT 5G autonomous driving bus
5G autonomous driving test network and coverage
For demonstration of the bus, the telco launched three cell sites around the PyeongChang Alpensia Resort that offer eight sectors of 5G coverage. Of the three sites, two non-mobile cell sites support 4-sector and 2-sector, respectively while the third mobile one equipped with a 5G base station and antenna supports 2-sector. The bus comes with 5G devices by Samsung and Ericsson. The 5G base station and devices use an operating frequency band of 28 GHz, and can support maximum data rates of up to 20 Gbps per cell and 3.2 Gbps per device.
5G coverage around the PyeongChang Alpensia Resort
5G autonomous driving test network architecture
Key characteristics of KT's autonomous driving
KT's autonomous driving offers the following three benefits:
5G autonomous driving demonstration
5G autonomous driving solutions like Safe driving, drone delivery, mobile multi-media transmission, were demonstrated.
1) Safe driving - A vehicle stops after detecting another vehicle approaching in the front.
In the demo: Once the bus entered into self autonomous driving mode, the driver let go of the handle, initiating self-driving mode. The front window of the bus served as a display panel, showing information on driving and location of the vehicle. When a vehicle approaching is detected, a warning saying "A vehicle approaching ahead" appeared and the bus stopped automatically. The bus started again when the vehicle passed by.
After detecting another vehicle approaching (in the left), the vehicle stopped (in the right)
The bus collects DGPS calibration data, including precision positioning data about itself and vehicles or obstacles nearby, from the communication control center. Lidar sensors attached onto the front corners of the bus help to detect vehicles and obstacles nearby and avoid them.
During the demonstration, the self-driving bus moved at an average speed of 15 Km/h, and actually stopped itself when it detected snowflakes in decent sizes falling from the sky, recognizing them as some kind of obstacles.
2) Drone delivery
During the demonstration, the bus driver pulled over at a mailbox on the bus route and picked up a package delivered by a self-flying drone. The drone also used DGPS calibration data collected from the communication control center to locate the mailbox and deliver the package.
A bus driver is picking up a package delivered by a self-flying drone at a mailbox
3) Mobile multi-media transmission
Thanks to 5G communication that realizes real-time transmission of ultra-high capacity content, viewers can experience next-generation media services like Super-multi View Interactive Display and Hologram Live.
Hologram Live: The motions and voice of the person in Seoul are transmitted and displayed in the bus in PyeongChang
■ Mixed Reality (MR) - 'VR Walk Through'
There were demonstrations of 'MR torch relay', a representative example of Mixed Reality (MR) that integrates the reality and virtual reality. VR HMDs and tracking sensors were offered for visitors to try 'VR Walk Through', experiencing the virtual space themselves.
MR torch relay
During the demonstration, the Olympic flame lit in Greece traveled to PyeongChang via mobile phone as an virtual image, then on to a real torch in reality, and then back to another torchbearer in the virtual space.
'MR torch relay' demonstration
VR Walk Through
The 'VR Walk Through' gave visitors chances to walk around with VR gears and have the same experience in the virtual space themselves as they had seen in the 'MR torch relay' demonstration. Unlike VR services so far that only allowed for non-mobile experience, the VR Walk Through let users actually walk around and experience virtual objects.
During the demonstration, a voluntary tester wearing a VR HMD and tracking sensors capable of detecting locations and motions of the tester could enter the virtual space where he became a torch bearer. The motions of the tester were detected from the sensors on his body, and synchronized into the virtual space, which made him look like walking in the virtual space.
VR Walk Through features:
'VR Walk Through' experience
As 75khz spacing is not included in 5G standardization, any info about whether KT/Verizon still go ahead with 75khz or some plan to align with 5G standards?