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SK Telecom has signed a series of deals in an effort to provide support for startups focused on smart city innovation in the region.

 The South Korean Telecommunications operator announced the signing of the Memorandums of understanding (MoUs) with the Incheon Free Economic Zone (IFEZ) Authority and some others who are planning to build smart infrastructure with 5G and self-driving elements.

The deals are meant to strengthen the country’s position in smart city development with regards to 5G network deployment, autonomous vehicles and connected hospitals.

“We will work closely with the IFEZ Authority to accelerate the IFEZ’s transition to a smart city powered by SK Telecom’s 5G network and mobility technologies,” said Park Jin-hyo, the operator’s CTO.

As part of the deal, SK Telecom is expected to create a machine-readable HD map of the IFEZ area (which is comprised of Yeongjong, Cheongna, and Songdo) with information to help support autonomous vehicles. This information includes: road conditions, lanes, and speed limits.

“The HD map will b built with Dynamic Data Platform, a 5G-based real-time update solution for HD maps. Dynamic Data Platform automatically updates HD maps upon receiving road observation data from Advanced Driver Assistance Systems (ADAS) over 5G network,” said Jin-hyo.

He added, “SK Telecom plans to install ADAS and 5G communication modules to public transport vehicles and official government cars in the IFEZ area to detect all changes in the road environment.”

Both parties aim to work together to achieve smarter and safer transportation by taking into account the policies that will be put in place. In order to do this, they aim to build a data hub that will enable them to oversee the floating population.

Another deal that was devised, was between SK Telecom and Yonsei University Health System which will provide 5G network solutions and smart technology to hospitals. The smart hospital that is in the making is forecasted to be opened by the beginning of 2020.

“The 5G-powered digital hospital will be equipped with SK Telecom’s Ai speaker- NUGU- to enable patients with physical difficulties to easily control their beds, lighting, and TV with their voice. They can even use NUGU Call service to get medical assistance in case of emergencies,” SK Telecom stated.

The hospital is also expected to have AR- powered indoor navigated which will use 3D mapping technologies to “enhance the convenience of patients and visitors”.

This will allow patients in isolation wards to receive visitors through holographic projections. Additionally, facial recognition will be used on medical worker to ensure greater safety and security for the patients. “Unlike other access control systems that require some kind of contact – fingerprint, pass, etc- the face recognition system allows contact-free entry to help reduce the risk of infection”.

They also plan to create an incubator for startups called Venturepolis which will be based in Songdo. Venturepolis will support startups that work with smart office solutions.


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