Samsung has clinched a deal with South Korean telco KT to help expand its public safety LTE (PS-LTE) network, based on the 3GPP standard Release 13, the companies have announced.
The South Korean tech giant will provide its network solutions for 10 major metropolitan regions throughout the country, including the capital Seoul, by 2020.
Samsung has collaborated with KT since 2016 to deploy PS-LTE networks. It first commercialised this type of network by winning a government contract to deploy the "world's first" public safety networks in Seoul and the Gangwon province that same year.
In 2017, the two companies rolled out the network to high-speed trains in South Korea.
The new expanded deal will see PS-LTE networks deployed not just in Seoul and Gangwon, but also in Jeolla, Gyeongbuk, and Chungnam provinces.
Samsung will provide LTE radio base stations that support 700MHz, as well as a virtualised core.
The South Korean tech giant first successfully trialled Mission Critical PTT (MCPTT) technology for seamless video streaming on a PS-LTE network back in 2017 and these solutions will also be provided in the expansion, along with its Multimedia Broadcast Multicast Service.
The expansion will see Samsung's NB-IoT and device to device (D2D) solutions -- which allow communication between devices without the need to go through base stations -- be provided on a PS-LTE network for the first time.
The two technologies will be crucial for assisting people stranded in remote areas that have frequency-blocking terrain nearby or where there are no base stations nearby, Samsung said.
As more and more consumers migrate to 5G networks from 4G LTE, new enterprise use for the previous-generation network will likely increase going forward.
KT's 5G network will be commercially launched in early April, with the Korean carrier partnering with Ericsson for the deployment.
KT will roll out its 5G-based UHD live broadcasting service with Seoul Broadcasting System's Morning Wide news program.
KT's 5G network will be ready for use in 85 cities across South Korea, including Seoul, by the end of the month. This includes 5G service coverage throughout various major national highways and high-speed railways.
1.2Gbps LTE is available on Samsung's Galaxy S10, with the South Korean telco vowing to offer faster connectivity with the upcoming 5G network.
South Korean mobile carriers SK Telecom and KT seem to believe virtual reality (VR) games will be a big thing for 5G -- and both plan to showcase their offerings at Mobile World Congress.