Displaying items by tag: South Korea

South Korean conglomerate Samsung has announced that they will conduct an investigation into its Galaxy Fold phones following a series of complaints.

The world’s No.1 smartphone vendor confirmed that it will inspect units of its much vaunted foldable smartphone after a number of reviewers reported screen damage.

A handful of US-based reporters were given the flagship Galaxy Fold phones, priced at $1,980, ahead of the model's official release next week. However, they reported screen issues within days of using the devices which set alarms bell ringing in Seoul. Samsung are still scarred by the issues it endured with the Galaxy Note 7. It was forced to recall all of its units after reports the devices were overheating and in some incidents were self-combusting.

Below is a snapshot of what some of the reviewers wrote about Samsung’s new flagship smartphone.

“The screen on my Galaxy Fold review unit is completely broken and unusable just two days in," Bloomberg's Mark Gunman tweeted. Dieter Bohn of The Verge said: "Something happened to my Galaxy Fold screen and caused a bulge. It's broken."

Samsung spent nearly eight years developing the Galaxy Fold, which is part of the South Korean tech giant's strategy to propel growth with groundbreaking gadgets.

“We will thoroughly inspect these units in person to determine the cause of the matter," Samsung said in a statement after reports of the screen damage emerged. The main display on the Galaxy Fold features a top protective layer, which is part of the display structure designed to protect the screen from unintended scratches. Removing the protective layer or adding adhesives to the main display may cause damage. We will ensure this information is clearly delivered to our customers."

Some of the reviewers, including Bloomberg's Gunman, had removed this layer. CNBC's Steve Kovach said he had not, but still faced major problems with the device. Samsung is the world's biggest smartphone maker, and earlier this month launched the 5G version of its top-end Galaxy S10 device.

Published in Devices

Blow for Samsung US as CEO steps down

Written on Sunday, 03 February 2019 10:08

South Korean conglomerate Samsung has suffered a blow following the announcement that the CEO of Samsung Electronics in North America has decided to retire.

Tim Baxter has been with the company for over 12 years and has played a pivotal role in establishing Samsung as a powerhouse in the North America ICT market in his role as CEO.

Baxter has shown incredible leadership and vision and as ensured Samsung’s products has resonated with American consumers. He announced his decision to retire in a LinkedIn post, and confirmed that he pass the reins to his current deputy in North America Young Hoon Eom.

Samsung confirmed the departure in an official statement to Mobile World Live and placed on record its sincere thanks to Baxter who they described as an ‘exceptional business leader’ that has helped define Samsung as a pioneering innovator in the consumer electronics industry.

Baxter joined Samsung as EVP of sales and marketing for consumer electronics in 2006, and held various leadership positions before being appointed to his current post in July 2017. The role gave him full autonomy of Samsung’s $30 billion consumer and enterprise businesses in the US and Canada, including oversight of teams across mobile, consumer electronics, home appliances, customer care, services and new business.

The move comes at a pivotal moment as mobile operators across the US and Canada, start the transition towards the deployment of 5G. All four tier-one US operators have confirmed that they are working with Samsung on 5G handsets set for release in the first half of 2019.

Published in Telecom Vendors

SK Telecom and Pohang University of Science and Technology (POSTECH) announced they have developed a 5G antenna control technology and have filed for a patent.

SK Telecom is preparing for the rollout of 5G in March in South Korea with compatriots KT and LG uplus.

It is collaborating extensively with ally Samsung Electronics in 5G equipment research, as well as Hyundai and Trimble to develop construction monitoring solutions that improve overall efficiency. The company excluded Huawei equipment from its list of vendors in September 2018.

The call quality is maintained in ultra-high 28GHz spectrum 5G by controlling the electrical characteristic of the antenna. Ultra-high frequency reception sensitivity can be affected by how users hold their smartphones or the angle of their head but the new technology has been developed to offset that. Power consumption of smartphones also decreases due to increased reception sensitivity.

Ultra-high spectrum such as 28GHz requires components to be placed in a smaller area compared to LTE, with SK Telecom and POSTECH.  This was taken into account when finishing testing for commercial launch.

It follows news that SK Telecom and Sinclair Broadcast Group will invest $33 million into a joint venture that will develop next-generation broadcasting solutions, will allow faster data transmission for high resolution broadcasting, as well as the combining of broadcasting and telecommunications spectrum.

Published in Telecom Operators

SK Telecom accelerates R&D to rollout 5G sooner than expected

Written on Sunday, 12 November 2017 12:14

South Korea’s SK Telecom announced the successful demonstration of essential technologies for 5G network communications in a real-world setting, accelerating its research and development efforts to roll out 5G services earlier than expected.

SK Telecom announced that it used an in-building 5G relay repeater operating in both 28 GHz and 3.5 GHz spectrums in the 5G trial network at the company’s Bundang office, a result of the company’s joint development with local vendors.

The in-building 5G relay repeater helps deliver seamless network connections in an indoor environment by transferring wireless signals to radio shadow areas.

The company was able to deliver speeds of up to 4Gbps using the in-building relay repeater SK Telecom jointly developed with HFR which operated in 28 GHz band. In the 28 GHz band, radio waves are more likely to move in straight lines, being blocked more sharply by obstacles with shorter radio coverage. Frequency particularly suffers more loss inside a building, where areas are divided by walls.

Ensuring the quality of indoor service is the key to 5G service rollout, which uses ultra-high frequencies. With the success of delivering gigabit speeds using the in-building relay repeater, SK Telecom is in the process of accelerating development of 5G service that customers can enjoy even in an indoor environment.

The company has also worked with SK Telesys to develop an in-building relay repeater, which can deliver 5G radio signals in 3.5 GHz using the existing mobile communications infrastructure installed inside buildings.

Since the station uses the existing antennas for 2G, 3G and LTE services, the company can reduce time to build indoor networks for 5G service by only installing the 3.5 GHz band relay repeater.

With the success of the demonstration, SK Telecom was able to develop its capabilities for 5G relay for both indoor and outdoor settings. In August, the company deployed a relay repeater in its 5G trial network near Gangnam Station in Seoul to successfully expand radio coverage in the densely populated urban area.

On the same day, SK Telecom demonstrated a 360-degree virtual reality (VR) video call using a tablet-sized device on the 5G network connecting between T.um at SK Telecom’s headquarter in Seoul, and an area near Cheonggyecheon, a stream flowing through the central district of Seoul, in collaboration with Samsung Electronics. A user was able to enjoy a 360-degree VR video call real-time even while moving in the area surrounded by high-rise buildings.

The demonstration was performed in the central business district, a perfect place to test 5G communications service as it is surrounded by high-rise buildings generating dense data blocked by many obstacles. Both companies employed the advanced technologies, including beamforming, optimal base-station positioning and network virtualization, to build a stable 5G trial network.

With the success of the demonstration on a tablet-sized 5G device, SK Telecom accelerated its research in the field of network connections to ensure the seamless operation of devices on the 5G network. The telecom giant also expects that the demonstration will add momentum to its effort to create novel services running on the 5G network that will deliver new experiences to its customers.

“The success of 5G wireless communications in the real-world environment will give us momentum to accelerate our effort to roll out 5G services earlier than expected,” said Park Jin-hyo, Senior Vice President and Head of Network Technology R&D Center at SK Telecom. “We, at SK Telecom, will continue to develop our capabilities to rollout 5G networks in order to offer differentiated services to our customers.”

Published in Telecom Operators

SK Telecom develops Wi-Fi technology that delivers 5G speeds

Written on Tuesday, 24 October 2017 08:33

SK Telecom announced the introduction of a new Wi-Fi technology that can deliver speed as fast as 5G technology. For the first time in South Korea, the technology successfully demonstrated speeds of up to 4.8Gbps at SK Telecom’s Bundang Center.

The technology was built on the IEEE 802.11ax standard, delivering speeds of up to 4.8Gbps, which is nearly four times faster than the existing gigabit Wi-Fi service — 1.3Gbps, 802.11ac — currently prevailing among smartphones. The technology uses four antennas to transmit data and uses 160 MHz bandwidth, twice wider than the gigabit Wi-Fi service, and operates in the 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz spectrums.

Once the technology is commercially implemented, SK Telecom believes it will play a tremendous role in delivering sufficient wireless access in any dense traffic scenarios. It features the OFDMA, Multi-user MIMO as well as the Dynamic Sensitivity Control (DSC) technology that are designed to improve the efficiency of the network.

Given the 802.11ax chipsets already released in the market by global makers, the next generation Wi-Fi service is expected to be commercially available for smartphones next year. Smartphones equipped with the chipset theoretically deliver a speed of up to 1.2Gbps in 80 MHz with two antennas.

SK Telecom is planning to deploy access points for the next generation Wi-Fi next year particularly in high traffic density areas. Users with the new chipset-based smartphones will benefit from the new technology.

At present, a testbed has been constructed within the T Open Lab, the company’s R&D Center at Bundang to test the performance of the new technology in various deployment scenarios including high traffic density. It is also working on upgrading the access points to the commercially deployable level by the end of this year.

Since 2014, SK Telecom has taken part in the nation’s IEEE 802.11ax standard research group, led by the Ministry of Science and ICT, along with small and mid-sized companies. Its participation has resulted in many new technologies applied to the global standards with relevant patents obtained.

“By introducing the technology for the next generation Wi-Fi that can deliver as fast as 5G technology, we at SK Telecom have successfully laid foundation to offer better mobile services,” said Park Jin-hyo, Senior Vice President and Head of Network Technology R&D Center at SK Telecom.

Park added, “We are thrilled to work on the preparation of commercializing the technology and continue to innovate our capabilities to provide differentiated services to our customers.”

Published in Telecom Operators

Samsung Electronics CEO announces resignation

Written on Monday, 16 October 2017 10:46

Samsung Electronics announced that Vice Chairman Oh-Hyun Kwon plans to resign as the company’s head of the Device Solutions Business and will not seek re-election as a member of the Board of Directors and the Chairman of the Board when his term ends in March, 2018. Vice Chairman Kwon will also resign as the Chief Executive Officer of Samsung Display.

In an emotional letter sent to all employees, Vice Chairman Kwon said that announcing his retirement was the most difficult thing for him to do, but now was the right time and that he believes his decision is in the best interest of the company.

“It is something I had been thinking long and hard about for quite some time. It has not been an easy decision, but I feel I can no longer put it off,” Vice Chairman Kwon said. “As we are confronted with unprecedented crisis inside out, I believe that time has now come for the company start anew, with a new spirit and young leadership to better respond to challenges arising from the rapidly changing IT industry.”

Vice Chairman Kwon stated that during the past 32 years when he served as both a researcher and CEO, he has witnessed the company emerge as a global leader in the semiconductor business and that he harbors a “deep sense of pride and honor to have taken part in the company’s incredible journey to success.”

“There are no words to describe how proud I am that we built together one of the most valuable companies in the world,” he said. “We have come a long way to create a company that truly changes how people live, work and communicate with each other.”

“But now the company needs a new leader more than ever and it is time for me to move to the next chapter of my life.” He ended his remarks to employees by saying, “I would like to share my sense of pride and honor with you, and thank each one of you for your dedication and commitment to the company.”

Vice Chairman Kwon joined the company in 1985 as a researcher of the company’s Semiconductor Research Institute in the United States. He also served as president and head of the System LSI Division and as president and head of the Semiconductor Business before becoming CEO of the company in 2012. He also has served as the CEO of Samsung Display since 2016.

Published in Devices

US city implements KT’s 1Gbps wireless technology

Written on Thursday, 05 October 2017 07:48

The first line of South Korean telecom provider KT’s innovative ‘GiGa Wire’ technology has been installed in the United States. The technology can get internet speeds of up to 1Gbps, with plain copper wire and without any fiber-optic cable. KT signed an MoU with the city of Boston, Massachusetts, in June, for the implementation of the new technology.

The technology has been available in Boston since September 18, according to KT CEO Hwang Chang-Gyu and Boston City CIO Jascha Franklin. It is the first case of a Korean company demonstrating Korea’s advanced communication technology in the USA, the company said, emphasizing the significance of the technology being supplied to Boston, a city steeped in American history.

The construction of the GiGa Wire in Boston is in line with the main policy pushed by the city, the Boston Digital Equity Project, aiming at bridging the digital gap. The GiGa Wire will also play an important role in solving a difficulty encountered by Boston, where it is difficult to improve network infrastructure due to the large number of historical buildings.

Boston has many buildings over 60 years old, making it difficult to set up in-building infrastructures and to improve the city’s network infrastructure. However, KT’s GiGa Wire technology solves this problem, thanks to its ability to improve the network environment of the existing buildings without doing any damage to them.

In collaboration with the Boston Digital Equity Project, the goal of this public-private partnership is to improve network infrastructure, providing high-speed internet to all, KT said. This plays into KT’s goal of creating a world where everyone has access to the internet without difficulty.

The GiGa Wire project pilot has started in Boston’s downtown and will cover approximately 130 households. Following this case study, KT’s various network technologies and smart solutions businesses are expected to rollout across the US, continuing with San Francisco.

“Without any additional construction, they were able to just switch the modem in my house, and now it feels like the internet is more than 10 times faster than it previously was,” commented Robin Jeffries who lives in Haynes House, one of the locations where the new GiGa Wire was set up.

“This Boston GiGa Wire project is an excellent example of what we can do to improve the American network infrastructure,” said KT CEO Chang-Gyu. “My hope is that this will contribute to the revitalization of the cooperation between South Korea and the USA in the IT industry. I hope that not just in America, but in all countries around the world, KT’s achievement will become a successful model of ICT technology.”

Published in Telecom Operators

South Korean smartphone colossus Samsung has announced that its pre-orders for its Galaxy Note 8 have surpassed the highest-ever for the Note Series. Samsung believes its latest premium smartphone which exceeded the pre-orders enjoyed by the Note 7 – will protect the market dominance it currently assumes as it faces a stiff battle with Apple to remain on the top spot.

Apple has aggressively marketed its latest iPhone - as it focuses on the tenth anniversary of the inception of the inaugural iPhone, which was first launched in 2007. Apple’s newest iPhone will be formally unveiled to much media hype later this week.

Samsung have announced that sales of its Note 8 devices will hit markets in the US and South Korea on Friday – and management within the South Korean conglomerate buoyed by impressive pre-order numbers have expressed their confidence that the Note 8 will be a bug hit amongst consumers.

The smartphone incumbent claimed that it had 650,00 pre-order for the Note 8 handsets over a five day period, with orders coming from over 40 countries. President of Samsung Electronics mobile communications business DJ Koh said the initial response to the new smartphone was ‘very encouraging’.

Samsung suffered a mitigated and well-documented disaster with its Note 7. Reports of the devices catching fires and in some cases self-combusting due to faulty batteries forced the company to recall all of its Note 7 units from the market just a short few months into its life-cycle. Samsung lost billions of dollars due to the Note 7 fiasco, but it also more significantly tarnished its reputation amongst many of its customers.

However, the world’s biggest smartphone manufacturer by market share took the decision to retain the Note brand after Samsung conducted a survey of 5,000 Galaxy Note users. 85% of respondents expressed brand loyalty, so executives decided to continue the Note brand. Samsung launched a lengthy investigation into the Note 7 scandal and discovered the root cause of the issues before embarking on the development of Note 8 handsets.

The Note 8 will retail at between $930-960 in the US, and that will include a number of attractive call and data packages incorporated in that deal. When US smartphone giant Apple introduce its new iPhone to the market it will squeeze the Note 8. However, many analysts have claimed that the excessive cost of the iPhone which will reportedly retail at around $1,000 has drained the enthusiasm amongst a lot of consumers worldwide.

Published in Telecom Vendors

SK Telecom launches in-car AI virtual assistant

Written on Tuesday, 19 September 2017 05:35

SK Telecom announced that its mobile navigation app ‘T Map’ is now powered by its artificial intelligence (AI) platform NUGU, named ‘T Map X NUGU’. The AI-based navigation service allows drivers to use their voice to enjoy the existing navigation features as well as other useful features offered by NUGU.

T Map was launched by SK Telecom in 2002, and is the leading mobile navigation service in South Korea. In July 2016, the company opened T Map to subscribers of all mobile carriers free of charge. As of August 2017, T Map has around 10.14 million monthly active users, taking up about 68 percent of the South Korean mobile navigation market.

T Map X NUGU significantly enhances the safety for drivers, according to SK Telecom, by allowing them to easily set and change destinations without ever having to take their eyes off the road or hands off the wheel. Moreover, users can ask the voice assistant to find the closest or cheapest gas station and begin providing route guidance to the selected destination. It will also show and guide the driver to the nearest parking lot.

While driving, users can request real-time traffic information, including accidents on roads, and adjust the voice guidance volume through voice commands. Upon arriving at their destination, users can also tell it to end the service/close the app. Users can choose one of two wake words: Aria or Tinker Bell.

T Map integrated with NUGU enhances drivers’ in-car experience by offering useful infotainment services such as news briefing, weather report, sports scores and daily horoscope, SK Telecom claims. Users can also listen to music (Melon) and manage their personal schedules (Google Calendar) by installing the NUGU app.

SK Telecom plans to add more features to T Map X NUGU by November 2017. For instance, when there is an incoming call, drivers will be able to use voice commands to either receive the phone call, or send a text message that states the estimated time of arrival or simply says “I am driving now.”

T Map X NUGU has achieved a 96 percent success rate in voice recognition despite diverse sources of noise, including car engine sounds, wind and people’s conversations. Moreover, with the integration of NUGU into T Map, SK Telecom expects to dramatically improve the performance of the voice-based AI engine via machine learning, which will lead to the creation of new and innovative services.

“Integrated with NUGU, T Map now holds the power to significantly improve driving safety by minimizing driver distractions, while also enhancing customers’ driving pleasure and in-car experience,” said Lee Sang-ho, Executive Vice President and Head of AI Business Division. “With the aim to provide a differentiated level of experience to users, we will continue to expand the use of our AI platform NUGU to more areas of our customers’ lives.”

Published in Telecom Operators

KDDI and Samsung break record in high-speed 5G mobility test

Written on Sunday, 17 September 2017 08:59

Japanese telecom operator KDDI and Samsung Electronics announced the completion of a comprehensive set of 5G tests which demonstrate the viability and performance of 5G millimeter wave mobility solutions at speeds over 190km per hour which is the fastest record in the world. The successful results highlight the potential and capability of 5G to support a wide variety of future service scenarios.

The demonstration, which took place at 'Everland SPEEDWAY' in South Korea, involved a battery of individual tests to examine the performance of Samsung's end-to-end 5G mmWave technology. Specifically, as a vehicle accelerated from 0 to 205km per hour on the race track between multiple 5G base stations, the test measured and evaluated a variety of metrics, including handover interruption time, uplink and downlink throughput stability, and latency stability (or "jitter").

"The trial successfully showcased stable performance under high-speed mobility conditions which will dramatically increase the service experience of users in vehicles," said Akira Matsunaga, Senior Director, Mobile Network Technical Development at KDDI. "We will continue our joint efforts with Samsung to test next generation technology to unprecedented levels and discover new service cases."

KDDI and Samsung also demonstrated a successful handover scenario, with Samsung's 5G device attaching to the 5G base station as it approached the service area, and successfully being handed over to the target cell at a speed of 192km per hour (GPS speed).

"It is becoming increasingly important that we accelerate our focus on 5G's ability to meet a growing number of performance metrics,” said Woojune Kim, Senior Vice President and Head of Next Generation Strategy in Network Business at Samsung Electronics. “Until now, peak bandwidth has been the common refrain, and certainly a big component of the future of 5G. However, the test we conducted with KDDI will help us build a more diverse portfolio of future 5G use cases."

The test achievements build upon a string of mobility-related successes over the past several years. In February of this year, Samsung and KDDI successfully demonstrated 5G handover capability in an urban city environment at speeds of up to 60km/h on public roads. Both companies are in discussion with 5G trials for multiple 5G service cases.

One of the most exciting prospects of 5G technology is the potential for new and highly specialized service scenarios that go beyond traditional smart device connectivity. 5G's ability to deliver on this promise is directly tied to its ability to meet the unique performance needs of a wide number of increasingly-connected industries, from Smart City IoT to Connected Cars and more. Samsung also continues to actively explore the potential for 5G-driven services under common high-speed scenarios.

Published in Telecom Operators
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