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Mobile carriers beef up VR content amid 5G expansion

All News 10:00 February 15, 2020

SEOUL, Feb. 15 (Yonhap) -- South Korea's three major mobile carriers are beefing up their virtually reality (VR) content and related services, industry insiders said Saturday, as they aim to attract more customers amid their 5G expansion.

The three -- SK Telecom Co., KT Corp. and LG Uplus Corp. -- commercialized 5G telecommunication last year and have been focusing on securing more 5G subscribers. Taking advantage of 5G's high speed and low latency, they are now rolling out VR content for various sectors -- from entertainment and education -- to stimulate the market.

SK Telecom said it has joined with local online game giant Nexon Co. and VR game developer Pixelity Games Inc. and started beta testing for a VR game called "Crazy World VR." Under the deal, SK Telecom and Pixelity will cooperate on game development, while Nexon will allow them to use popular characters from its online games.

This photo provided by SK Telecom Co. on Feb. 13, 2020, shows models presenting the virtual reality game "Crazy World VR." (PHOTO NOT FOR SALE) (Yonhap)

The country's largest mobile carrier also said it has partnered with psychiatry specialists at Yongin Severance Hospital to develop a VR video program named "Mindfulness Exercise" that aims to relieve stress in workers in their 30s and 40s.

With education technology startup Marvrus Inc., SK Telecom said it has developed a VR-based language learning app called "Speakit."

"To expand and pioneer the VR service market, we are cooperating with various companies from development to marketing," said Jeon Jin-soo, head of the 5GX service business division at SK Telecom.

KT said it will start the industry's first 8K commercial VR streaming service next month.

The company has been offering its 4K wireless standalone VR media service, Super VR, with various VR content since July. KT said its upcoming 8K VR streaming service combines its 5G network technology and Silicon Valley-based startup AlcaCruz Inc.'s streaming solution.

This photo provided by KT Corp. on Feb. 13, 2020, shows models demonstrating KT's virtual reality (VR) service, Super VR. (PHOTO NOT FOR SALE) (Yonhap)

To provide better 8K VR content, KT joined forces with VR content creator AVA Entertainment Co. They will together aim to produce 100 8K VR videos, with content ranging from K-Pop to South Korea's traditional culture, by the end of this year.

LG Uplus has been offering a VR version of hit educational comic book series "Why?" since last week. The company also announced earlier this week that it has joined hands with the KBS Symphony Orchestra to create 5G-only VR content.

LG Uplus signed a partnership with Google last year under which the two sides will collaborate on VR content creation and global distribution.

South Korea's No. 3 mobile carrier last month expanded its partnership with Google, working with it in the field augmented reality (AR) content.


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