Potential product partnership with Dell Technologies and VMware?
South Korea has been and still is a leading mobile market. In the context of 5G, the country’s Ministry of Science and ICT said there were 7.86 million 5G users at the end of July with SK Telecom taking the lion’s share with 3.35 million 5G subs. Given these market dynamics, SK Telecom has been working to develop and commercialize 5G services, which Kangwon Lee, vice president of the operator’s 5GX Cloud Labs, discussed this week at the virtual Dell Technologies World.
He described the relationship between 5G and mobile edge computing and detailed SK Telecom’s two-pronged approach to delivering consumer and enterprise services that combine 5G and MEC.
“The first is distributed edge,” Lee said. “In this case, we can deliver a nationwide edge cloud service to all 5G users. The second scenario is on-site edge. In this case, we can deliver low latency and security-sensitive services at enterprise customer sites such as smart factories and hospitals. At SK Telecom we believe MEC is a critical capability that can provide new experiences to our 5G customers with ultra low latency and extremely high data rates.”
The operator’s first public MEC-based service went live earlier this year at a heavily-visited palace in Seoul. The Changdeok Ariang service combines 5G, MEC and augmented reality technology provided by Google to create “a virtual tour guide that will take visitors around the palace,” Lee explained. “The visitor can interact with historic figures and virtually visit areas that are not open to the public with totally immersive experience.”
He said the next public MEC services coming to market later this year will be a QHD video conferencing tool to support online learning, a real-time road alert mapping service that will monitor hazardous road conditions like pot holes and accidents, and a safety service that will use cloud robotics to help protect travelers at Seoul’s Incheon International Airport from COVID-19.
Further, “We are actively developing new MEC scenarios such as an indoor AR navigation at a large shopping mall, autonomous driving assistance, and delivery of food by connected robots.”
Lee also teased a potential product offering combining SK Telecom’s 5G/MEC learnings with Dell Technologies and VMware solutions. He said the SK Telecom is “happy to have this opportunity to work together with Dell Technologies and VMware to discuss potentially developing a joint MEC product. By combining our strengths, I believe we can come up with a very attractive offering in this important and emerging business area.”
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