Despite being a 5G frontrunner, Korea Telecom (KT) is not yet ploughing ahead with large-scale investment in the technology. “It’s not clear what the business case is, not clear at all,” said YongGyoo Lee, head of KT’s 5G business unit.

Speaking at an Ericsson press event at Mobile World Congress, YongGyoo said KT’s aim was still to be first out of the 5G traps in South Korea with commercial services. He would not commit, however, on when that might be.

Jongsik Lee, head of KT’s 5G taskforce, also flagged some “considerations” about what must still be done before fully committing to 5G. Availability of 3.5GHz and 28GHz airwaves was one, while equipment needs to be smaller and more lightweight.

Lower cost of deployment was another pressing issue, he continued.

Nonetheless KT said the deployment of pre-standard 5G was success at the Winter Olympics, delivering 360-degree VR and a ‘time slice’ function – a 5G-dependent video streaming technology that let viewers control the time, target and angle of the content being viewed.

Jongsik Lee indicated, however, that ‘5G’ equipment used in Pyeongchang would need to be ripped out since it was not fully aligned with the first 5G New Radio specifications ratified by the 3GPP in December 2017.

A Pyeongchang special interest group, involving Ericsson, Samsung, Nokia, Qualcomm, worked on developing ‘5G’ specifications for equipment rollout at the Winter Olympics this year.