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CEOs of Korea's big 3 took different stances on 5G. Why?
March 19, 2015 | By Yun Sang-ho (crow@ddaily.co.kr)
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For the rest of the Q2 2015 issue of Korea Communication Review magazine please click here

 

 

       
    SKT and LG U+ to create more customer value, and KT to lead technology innovation through standardization  
       


 

 

5G era is arriving soon, probably by 2020 as planned, and is promising 100 times faster speeds than current LTE.
 

Then, what benefits can customers get from it? What values can it bring to customers, and how? 
 
CEOs of Korea's big 3 operators, SK Telecom, KT and LG U+, shared differing stances on 5G at press conferences held in Barcelona, Spain on March 2nd and 3rd. 
 
SK Telecom and LG U+ placed more weight on the future while KT did on the present. SK Telecom and LG U+ seemed to put 'customers' first while KT did 'technology' first. 
 
SK Telecom CEO Dong-hyun Jang noted, "The industry are talking more about what technology evolution 5G can achieve than about what 5G can bring to customers." He added, "When there is a new network evolving, we have to think of what to do with it from the initial stage of the network's evolution, to develop service that can create customer value. This is what I learned when LTE was arriving." 
 
The CEO of KT, Chang-gyu Hwang, said, "5G is apparently a challenging technology for platform manufacturers as well as operators." He also pointed out, "That's why we proposed standardization of the Internet of Things (IoT)."
 
CEO Sang-chul Lee at LG U+ emphasized, "With IoT just emerging in 5G, anyone who can offer better-customized customer value will become the winner in the market." 
 
The different stances by the CEOs seemed to result from different situations they are in as a CEO. Obviously, they all have differnt time and paths behind and ahead.
 
SK Telecom's Dong-hyun Jang took office in last December and had previously worked as the COO of SK Planet until then. So, with the experience that he have had in both communication and platform fields, he is laying out a plan to produce profit. 
 
KT's Chang-gyu Hwang is in his second year as CEO, with only one year to go. It is easier and faster to get the result through standardization than through building a new profit model. 
 
CEO Sang-chul Lee at LG U+ was re-elected last year. His leadership in LTE business was recognized, but now he is under pressure to come up with a new profit model such as IoT soon.   
 
There is no standards defined for 5G yet. All three CEOs promised to make efforts for successful implementation of 5G, and claimed to have the best technology. Standardization of speeds and frequencies is not likely to be finalized until 2018.
 
At the WMC event, the big 3 were all busy, as usual, demonstrating their claimed world's first technologies, new but with not much difference in technological capabilities, jointly with pretty similar vendors. 

 

 

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