Samsung Electronics will provide its network equipment and devices for the building of an emergency public safety network in South Korea, the company has announced.
The tech giant announced the win in its blog, highlighting that it was the "world's first" public safety network using LTE technology, or PS-LTE, that uses 3GPP (3rd Generation Partnership Project) standards. Samsung first showed its wares in June last year in front of government officials to win the order.
The company will first deploy the PS-LTE network in Seoul then expand it to the east to Gangwon province in early 2016. In stages coverage will be expanded nationwide by 2017, it has said.
Gangwon province will likely be first after Seoul due to it hosting the upcoming 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang.
Samsung said it offers technologies such as an IP-Multimedia Subsystem, evolved Multimedia Broadcast Multicast Service, virtualized EPC for flexible operation, and Push-To-Talk (PTT) server.
Specially made rugged smartphones that have walkie-talkie capabilities and are water- and dust-proof are supplied for emergency networks
Local telcos SK Telecom and KT have also won parts of the project from the government, and are currently building control centres, radio stations, and handsets while testing them before deployment.
The network will unify those used by police, firefighters, soldiers, railroad employees, regional governments, and other public enterprises, in a project worth $2 billion.
The South Korean government has accelerated its plan to deploy an emergency network following the Sewol Ferry Disaster in 2014, with maritime police and safety agencies receiving wide condemnation for poor handling of the situation, which increased casualties. Over 300 people, mostly high school children, died in the disaster.
Samsung is likely attempting to woo foreign governments to use its PS-LTE server after demonstrating a successful deployment in South Korea.
As the equipment and devices are custom made, they are pricier than their consumer counterparts, allowing Samsung to secure higher margins.