​South Korea to fund 10Gb internet push

The South Korean government will pick two consortia for projects that will help fast-track the commercialisation of 10-gigabit (Gb) internet.

South Korea will fund projects that help the deployment of 10Gb internet.

The Ministry of Science and ICT kicked off a public order on Monday for projects related to 10Gb internet. The ministry will choose up to two consortia to give up to 940 million won ($877,000) in financial support. The deadline for the order is April 10.

Local telcos KT and LG Uplus, as well as SK Broadband, the fixed-line subsidiary of SK Telecom, are planning to roll out 10Gb internet as early as May this year.

KT, the leader in fixed-line, has had limited deployment of 10Gb internet in Seoul and Pyeongchang since 2016.

The science ministry aims to find equipment developers through the public order that will cooperate with telcos and broadcasters for faster adoption.

Gigabit internet is widely commercialised, with 6.7 million estimated users.

10Gb, which is ten times faster, will be a strong foundation for the adoption of high-traffic services such as hologram, augmented reality, virtual reality, broadcasting, and new 5G services, the ministry said.

The ultimate aim is to have 10Gb internet coverage of 50 percent by 2020, the ministry said.

South Korea, one of the most wired countries in the world, is also commencing a auction for 5G spectrum in June with the goal to commercialise the next-generation network next year.

The government-backed research institute ETRI last week announced that it developed a technology that automatically steers traffic between a 5G network and Wi-Fi.

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