(ATTN: RECASTS headline, lead with more focus on 5G service)
SEOUL, June 18 (Yonhap) -- South Korea's telecommunications giant KT Corp. said Thursday it plans to launch a new communications satellite in 2024 at the earliest as it aims to provide better 5G services and expand coverage.
KT Sat Co., a satellite service arm of KT, announced that it will launch the Mugunghwa-6A to replace the Mugungwha-6, whose lifespan is scheduled to end in 2025 following its 2010 launch.
The company said it plans to apply high-throughput satellite (HTS) technology, which can handle 10 times the data of traditional satellites.
The company is currently studying solutions interconnecting 5G technology with the satellite. If commercialized, KT Sat said people will be able to enjoy 5G service even in foreign countries without stable telecom networks and in moving objects like cars.
To spur its development of technologies connecting 5G and satellites, KT Sat will initiate a co-research project with the European Union in the second half of the year. It plans to demonstrate video transmitting service using a satellite 5G solution at the French Open tennis tournament in May 2021.
KT Sat said it will also expand overseas sales through the new satellite to become a top five Asian satellite business company.
"Currently, overseas sales account for only 12 percent of our total sales, but we plan to increase that percentage to 30 percent," KT Sat CEO Song Kyung-min said.
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