Chinese vendor Huawei has opened its first 5G OpenLab in Seoul, South Korea, the company said in a release.
Through the OpenLab, Huawei aims to drive 5G and ICT development in South Korea, and provide 5G testing environments and interoperability services for SMEs and start-ups. The vendor also said it expects to build a 5G ecosystem locally.
Huawei’s 5G OpenLab aims to provide 5G network testing and verification environments for partners and to help Korean enterprises use 5G networks to incubate new services. Huawei said it will use its experience to offer a range of services for its partners, including 5G technical training, technological and business innovation support, and 5G demonstrations and promotion.
The OpenLab is primarily designed for four major industry scenarios: Cloud VR/AR, connected vehicles, robots, and intelligent manufacturing. In the lab, Huawei has deployed end-to-end 5G network equipment -including the latest 5G base stations, core networks, and transport networks, for its partners to use for free.
In the future, Huawei plans to invest approximately $5 million in the operations of its 5G OpenLab.
“5G will bring industries closer, and create complexity and diversity in business scenarios. This is something that no single company can handle alone,” said Yang Chaobin, president of Huawei’s 5G product line.
“I wish that Huawei’s first 5G OpenLab will incubate more new 5G services and create opportunities for Huawei and SMEs in South Korea to achieve shared success through collaboration,”, said Kim Dong Ku, chair of the executive committee of 5G Forum.
“South Korea is the first country to put 5G into large-scale commercial use. We will leverage our leading strengths in 5G networks and work with ICT companies, especially SMEs, to foster a 5G ecosystem locally,” said Huawei South Korea CEO Meng Shaoyun said.
Local carrier LG Uplus uses telecom equipment from the Chinese vendor.
5G subscriptions in South Korea had reached 260,000 as of the end of April, according to previous press reports.
The country’s three carriers launched commercial 5G services on April 3. 5G coverage in Korea is restricted to urban areas and places where there are a large number of people.
The three Korean carriers first launched limited 5G commercial services in December 2018 as part of an agreement with the ICT ministry to launch simultaneously to avoid excessive competition. The three mobile carriers initially launched the 5G service in limited areas in Seoul.
In June 2018, South Korea completed a tender process through which it awarded spectrum in both the 3.5 GHz and 28 GHz bands. The government made available a total of 280 megahertz in the 3.5 GHz spectrum band and 2,400 megahertz in the 28 GHz band. The spectrum was divided into 28 blocks and 24 blocks.
Participant operators SK Telecom, KT, and LG Uplus had a 10-block cap per spectrum band. The telcos paid a total of 3.6183 trillion won ($3.3 billion) for the spectrum, 340 billion won higher than the starting price of 3.3 trillion won.
The 3.5 GHz band licenses covering a ten-year period and the 28 GHz band licenses a five-year term.