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Korean telcos reconfigure biz divisions to beef up AI capabilities

All News 13:13 January 25, 2020

By Joo Kyung-don

SEOUL, Jan. 25 (Yonhap) -- South Korean telecommunication firms have revamped their business divisions to boost their artificial intelligence (AI) capabilities, industry insiders said Saturday, as they aim to expand their presence beyond mobile services.

KT Corp., the nation's No. 2 mobile carrier, last week announced that it created a business division dedicated to AI and digital transformation (DX) solutions.

KT said its AI-DX division will focus on integrating its 5G know-how with other future technologies such as AI, big data, cloud and internet of things.

In this photo taken by KT Corp. on Jan. 9, 2020, KT employees check the company's 5G network through an artificial intelligence-powered control system. (PHOTO NOT FOR SALE) (Yonhap)

KT said it expects the division to have close cooperation with the company's software development units to produce various AI-powered solutions.

The new business division was established less than a month after KT selected its next CEO Koo Hyun-mo. The 56-year-old, who will officially replace the incumbent CEO Hwang Chang-kyu in March, is an ICT expert who also heads the Korean VR AR Industry Association.

SK Telecom Co., South Korea's top mobile carrier, also joined the move by adjusting the roles of its in-house technology units last month.

SKT said its AIX Center, led by chief technology officer Kim Yoon, is now responsible for managing the company's technology support jobs that were previously carried out by three other in-house technology centers.

The move is an initial step for SKT to apply AI technologies to all of its business operations, according to the company.

SKT has been one of the active players developing AI solutions in recent years.

Earlier this month, SKT CEO Park Jung-ho urged at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) 2020 in Las Vegas, Nevada, that local companies need to join forces to develop AI solutions together, highlighting the concept of "hyper-cooperation."

This photo taken on Oct. 15, 2019, shows models for LG Uplus Corp. exercising through an artificial intelligence-powered home training service at the company's headquarters building in Seoul. (Yonhap)

LG Uplus Corp., the nation's No. 3 mobile carrier, reinforced its AI capability by giving more power to its digital transformation group that is responsible for creating new business opportunities with future smart technologies.

Under its chief strategy officer Park Jong-wook, LG Uplus also created a DX unit controlling the company's digital transformation plans.

LG Uplus CEO Ha Hyun-hoi recently said the company seeks to combine its 5G network solutions with AI, augmented reality (AR) and autonomous driving technologies.

At CES 2020, Ha was spotted visiting booths of Samsung Electronics, LG Electronics and Google to check their latest AI solutions.

"I believe AI-powered electronics devices and mobility solutions can change the lives of people," Ha said at CES 2020. "Securing technologies that can take care of consumers' emotions will be directly linked to the company's competitiveness in the future."


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