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KT to open up 'Giga Internet 2.0 era' to offer 1Gbps to anyone anywhere
October 05, 2016 | By Dr. Michelle M. Do @ Netmanias (tech@netmanias.com)
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Upon his inauguration in 2014, KT's Chairman Hwang Chang Kyu presented a vision of GiGAtopia where all things and users are connected via GiGA infra and communication and other industries (like healthcare, media and traffic control) can integrated effectively on the infra, serving as a next-generation growth engine.


In GiGA infra that will connect everything, the key elements of wired and wireless services will be the GiGA Internet and 5G, respectively. Technically, the backhaul and backbone of the wireless network are all wired. Given that, the GIGA Internet will be the essential foundations of the GiGA infrastructure. 


In 2014, the company saw sales declining below KRW1.0 trillion due to fierce competition in the ultra-fast Internet market. Then KT brought 'GiGA Internet' service, which was 10 times faster than 100 Mbps offered by the conventional Internet at the time, to the nation. The service, thanks to its higher ARPUs and increasing subscriber base, has helped the company continue its remarkable sales growth exceeding KRW1.0 trillion.      


Upon its GiGA Internet subscription reaching 2 million in September, KT on the 29th held a press conference, declaring GiGA Internet 2.0 era and sharing its GiGA strategies. According to the company, GiGA Internet 2.0 will offer 1Gbps Internet service to anyone anywhere in the nation. Belows are the details.  


GiGA Internet subscription reached 2 million


Last month in about two years after the launch of the nationwide GiGA Internet service in October 2014, KT's GiGA Internet subscription reached 2 million. It took the company about 14 months to reach the first 1 million (in December 2015), but only nine months to add another one million since then.


The 2 million subscribers account for about 24% of the company's total Internet subscription, 8.46 million as of August 2016 (source: the Ministry of Science, ICT and Future Planning). This means one out of every four KT Internet users is using GiGA Internet service.    


GiGA Internet: Investment and Achievement


The subscriber group of GiGA Internet service is now evaluated to fall into 'Early Majority' category, one level higher than 'Early Adopter'. In May 2014, KT announced its plan to invest KRW 4.5 trillion in the GiGA Internet over the coming three years. According to the plan, it made the initial investment of KRW 1.4 trillion in 2014, and a total of KRW 3.0 trillion by the first half of this year, with the rest being scheduled to be made in next year.  


The growing popularity of GiGA Internet has attracted not only subscribers from other operators, but also new subscribers. As a result, the total number of the company's Internet service subscribers has risen from 8 million in the first half of the 2014 to 8.45 million in July 2016.  


The Internet business in Korea, once considered doomed to stagnation, has successfully transitioned itself to a growing industry, with impressive sales recovery from below KRW 1 trillion in 2013 to over 1 trillion in 2015 since the commercialization of GiGA internet in 2014.




In addition, the GiGA Internet service is making other service areas like wireless, UHD TV and IoT as well as ultra-fast Internet service more competitive, as can be seen in its high bundled service rates, 20% greater than conventional 100Mbps Internet service. For example, the bundled service rates of mobile, IPTV and Wi-Fi router are 2, 1.5 and 5 times respectivly. 


What GiGA Internet 2.0 will offer


The GiGA Internet 2.0 aims to offer 1Gbps Internet service anywhere in the nation.


1. GiGA Internet coverage

  • In 2016, 100% of residents in apartment housing (9.8 million households) under contract with KT
  • In 2017, 95% of residents in non-apartment housing in 85 cities (9.0 million households) across the nation

Back in 2014 when KT made a plan for investment in GiGA Internet, it aimed to deploy a GiGA Internet network to serve over 27,000 apartment buildings (about 9.5 million households) across the nation. The company is now aiming to serve 100% of the apartment communities (9.8 million households) under contract with KT by the end of the year.  


Starting next year, KT is expanding GiGA Internet coverage to non-apartment housing (up to 95% ub 85 cities nationwide by the end of the next year) and commercial buildings, offering the service to over 9 million households.


2. GiGA Wire 2.0

  • Commercialized 1Gbps service over existing telephone line by November 2016

'GiGA Wire', designed to use existing telephone lines in offering GiGA Internet service, has previously offered up to 500Mbps so far. Now upgraded GiGA Wire 2.0 can achieve up to 1Gbps. This solution enables residents in old apartment buildings with old types of telephone lines only to use the GiGA Internet service without the need of replacing the lines. The solution is scheduled to be commercialized in November, 2016.


Also in the first half of the year, KT executed contracts for offering GiGA Wire 1.0 in Turkey and Spain. The 'GiGA Wire 2.0' is expected to be popular among operators who are seeking alternative ways to serve areas like historic sites where installation of new fiber cables is not an option in Europe and Asia  


3. GiGA Wi-Fi 2.0

  • Two-times faster GiGA Wi-Fi premium router (802.11.ac Wave2-based and support up to  1.7Gbps) 
  • To be commercialized in November

What has contributed the most to such fast growth of GiGA Internet subscription was 'GiGA Wi-Fi Home'. Now 'GiGA Wi-Fi 2.0', much improved than 'GiGA Wi-Fi Home' in terms of speeds, memory and coverage, is arriving in November.  


GiGA Wi-Fi 2.0 can support up to 1.7Gbps, two-times faster than GiGA Wi-Fi Home. For this, the operator expanded the existing ‘5GHz 80MHz’ frequency band to '80MHz+80MHz’ or 160MHz by supporting 802.11.ac Wave2 standards in residential services as well for the first time in the nation. It also increased the number of concurrent users up to 200, and the number of antenna from two to four, drastically enhancing coverage.


GiGA Wi-Fi is now also combined [??] with LTE for GiGA LTE service capable of supporting wireless 1Gbps, and with IPTV (olleh tv air) for wireless IPTV service.


4. 10 GiGA Internet

  • 10-times faster GiGA Internet
  • Pilot service in the first half of 2017
  • To be commercialized in 2018

10-times faster 10 GiGA Internet solution will be introduced. The 10 GiGA Internet is essential infrastructure required to implement ultra-realistic content like '8k panorama video'. KT aims to make GiGA Internet service serve as BH/BB to get ready for 5G era where mobile speeds of 20Gbps become real The operator is looking to deploy GiGAtopia infrastructure using GiGA Internet and 5G. 


KT plans to expand 10 GiGA Internet service to major cities across the nation including Seoul starting 2017, and have it commercialized in 2018 when PyeongChang Winter Olympic is held.


Demonstration: 10 GiGA Internet and GiGA Wire 2.0


GiGA Wire 2.0





10Gbps Internet





KT's CMO Lim Heon-Moon said, "We have successfully gained a foothold for GiGA service provision through winning over 2 million GiGA Internet service subscribers." Just like the company had focused on achieving 1Gbps during the two years after the launch of commercialized GiGA Internet service in 2014, it now aims to launch 'GiGA Internet 2.0' providing 1Gbps anywhere across the nation.  


KT, No. 1 in wired network sector and No. 2 in mobile, is seeking 'giga', the key element of 5G, in wired as well, changing mobile giga frame from 'competition in air' to 'competition in infrastructure'. Thanks to the powerful backbone infrastructure and two ~ three times better GiGA Internet coverage compared to its competitors, the company will definitely have an advantage in the GiGA Internet market.

Rustem (KazTransCom) via LinkedIn 2016-10-19 21:00:38

internet is growing so fast!

Thank you for visiting Netmanias! Please leave your comment if you have a question or suggestion.

[HFR Private 5G: my5G]


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