KT Predicts 5G to Create US$42.2 Bn for S. Korea in 2030

• 5G Report Covers Changes in 10 Major Industries, 4 Human Environments
• Automotive, Finance Sectors to Benefit Most from 5G Commercialization

KT Corp. (KRX: 030200; NYSE: KT), South Korea’s largest telecommunications company, has released the country’s first official report on how next-generation wireless network technology will benefit the country’s economy and society over the next 12 years.

At minimum, the commercial use of the fifth-generation (5G) mobile network technology is expected to create 30.3 trillion won in socioeconomic value in 2025, 1.5 percent of the country’s gross domestic product (GDP), according to the report, issued last week by the KT Economics and Management Research Institute (KT EMRI). The report forecasts that number will increase to at least 47.8 trillion won (US$42.2 billion), 2.1 percent of GDP, in 2030.

The Korean telecom leader is preparing to launch the world’s first nationwide commercial 5G mobile network in March next year. KT is working towards becoming a global leader in next-generation wireless services, such as augmented reality (AR), virtual reality (VR) and autonomous driving. It successfully showcased trial 5G services with the world’s first 5G-ready network at the PyeongChang Winter Olympic Games in February this year.

“Like past general-purpose technologies, such as electricity, steam engines and computers, 5G will pioneer the next digital transformation by driving innovation and evolution across our economy and society,” said Kim Hee-Su, head of the KT EMRI. “5G will be used in combination with other key future technologies like AI (Artificial Intelligence), big data and IoT (Internet of Things).”

The KT EMRI’s 5G analysis examined South Korea’s 10 major industries — automotive, manufacturing, health care, transportation, agriculture, security and safety, media, energy, logistics and finance. The research arm also analyzed the transformation of four different human environments, including urban and non-urban space, along with homes and offices.

The total amount of socioeconomic value to be generated by 5G technology by the 10 industries in 2030 is estimated at 42.34 trillion won. Another 5.41 trillion won will be generated by cities, non-urban areas, homes and offices, which will be improved by making use of 5G and related future technologies. Such improvement will not only see reduced crime rates, but also emit less carbon and introduce shorter transit times.

Among the 10 industries in the report, the automotive industry is predicted to gain the most in socioeconomic value: 3.3 trillion won in 2025 and 7.2 trillion won in 2030. Vehicle telematics, one of the primary forces behind the increase, will make vehicles safer, call roadside assistance at the touch of a button, dial 911 when the driver is in an accident and introduce other innovative features.

KT offered a glimpse into the automotive industry’s future when it showcased self-driving vehicles at the PyeongChang Winter Olympics earlier this year, making use of 5G’s ultra-low latency and hyper connectivity. The commercial use of next-generation technology will remake the automotive industry, enabling conventional vehicles to be replaced with autonomously driving ones, the report said.

Finance is expected to be second in industry impact with 5.6 trillion won in socioeconomic value in 2030, and it is followed by the media industry with 3.6 trillion won. In the media industry, the report said, 5G technology, because of its ultra-high capacity, will bring AR and VR applications to its end users.

Next are health care with 2.9 trillion won; transportation with 2.8 trillion won; distribution with 2.5 trillion won; energy with 1.1 trillion won; security and safety with 0.72 trillion won; and agriculture with 0.26 trillion won.

The estimates of socioeconomic value are conservative and could increase more as new services start to emerge in the future, according to the report. Information for the report was drawn from interviews with 27 experts and case studies from both KT and foreign network operators.

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