South Korean operator KT detailed plans to cooperate with the government to build 5G testing facilities at four sites to allow small- and medium-sized companies to trial new services on a research version of its network.

In a translated statement, the operator said the 5G convergence service test bed project is expected to cost KRW28.5 billion ($24.3 million) and be completed in 2023.

KT established a taskforce in July to lead its backing for a KRW100 trillion government economic stimulus programme.

Yoon-young Park, head of the taskforce, said KT will create a commercial standards-based 5G network environment in which companies can research and contribute to the industry, with a focus on services including connected cars, drones, smart factories and media streaming.

Each research facility will be equipped with a 5G network running on the 3.5GHz and 28GHz bands with multi-access edge computing, mirroring its nationwide commercial deployment. The core node and base stations at the sites are linked with the Korea Advanced Research Network.

The KT Economic Management Research Institute estimates the socioeconomic value of 5G commercialisation will reach about KRW42 trillion by 2030.