South Korea: KT and Samsung to expand PS-LTE coverage

Samsung Electronic has signed an expansion contract with KT Corporation to provide public safety LTE (PS-LTE) network solutions based on 3GPP Release 13 in 10 major metropolitan regions in South Korea including Seoul by 2020.

An NB-IoT service will also be delivered via the PS-LTE network, to help prevent and respond to natural disasters such as fires and people stranded in remote mountainous areas.

In addition to LTE radio base stations that support 700MHz, Samsung is providing KT with a virtualised core and features such as MCPTT solutions, RAN sharing, evolved Multimedia Broadcast Multicast Service (eMBMS), Isolated eUTRAN Operation for Public Safety (IOPS), and device to device (D2D) network solutions.

Samsung is thrilled to see such a significant achievement in the country’s public safety where our continuous efforts and innovation on technology have advanced the safety of the world,” said GY Seo, SVP and head of global sales & marketing, networks business at Samsung Electronics. “Samsung is honoured to take part in this important mission with KT by providing PS-LTE solutions that will ensure seamless and stable connectivity across the nation.”

“By acquiring innovative wireless communications from Samsung, we are able to aid in life-threatening situations where data traffic is severely congested or connection is completely out of reach,” said Yoon-Young Park, senior executive vice president and head of enterprise business group at KT. “These first-of their-kind networks help responders connect with those in need.”

KT and Samsung’s Networks Business unit have previously partnered on two other PS-LTE network deployments: a PS-LTE network throughout Gangwon (Pyeongchang) province of South Korea using 700MHz based on the 3GPP standard in 2016, and the 2017 delivery of LTE-Railway service on a high-speed train traveling at up to 250 km/hour (155 mph) using MCPTT solutions. The two companies are now aiming to expand PS-LTE network further into the metropolitan areas around the country, including Seoul, Gyeonggi, Gangwon, Jeolla, Gyeongbuk and Chungnam provinces.

Critical Communications Today has requested more information on Samsung’s implementation of device-to-device (it stated at Mobile World Congress that it is working to extend the transmission range of ProSe (Proximity Services) in Samsung devices to narrow the gap that exists between ProSe and traditional PMR devices' back to back mode) and will update this piece if and when more details are available.