KT to Bring Next Tech Revolution to Space and North Korea
KT SAT Co., Ltd., Korea’s only satellite service provider, aims to become the seventh-largest satellite operator in the world by 2025, up from its current 18th rank. To achieve this, it will focus on using latest 5G mobile technologies in outer space, applying quantum cryptography to satellite communication, and providing a blockchain service for secure data sharing.
As two Koreas move toward peace recently, KT SAT expects to launch its satellite service in North Korea, a potential market for communications and broadcasting networks. KT Corp. has created a special task force to support inter-Korean cooperation and expand exchanges in ICT following April’s landmark summit between North and South Korea.
“KT SAT is leading Korea’s space industry in the global market for satellite business, writing a new chapter of the country’s satellite history,” Chief Executive Officer Hahn Won-Sic said in a press briefing in June, at the Kumsan Satellite Service Center, Korea’s first satellite earth station. “If things go well, KT SAT can provide telecommunications and broadcasting infrastructure in North Korea by using its satellites.”
KT SAT was established as a KT subsidiary specialising in satellite services when Korea’s top telecom provider spun off its satellite business in 2012. With the launch of KOREASAT-7 and 5A last year, the company is strengthening its position as a leading global service provider.
KT’s first satellite operator currently owns five satellites. The latest, KOREASAT-7 and KOREASAT-5A, were launched in May and October in 2017, respectively. KOREASAT-5A extended KT SAT’s coverage from the Korean peninsula to the Philippines, Indochina, the Middle East and parts of South Asia. KOREASAT-7 covers the Philippines, Indonesia, Indochina and India.
KT SAT’s main business was satellite transponder leasing in the domestic market until it started a global advance in 2015. The company’s customer list now has 22 in seven countries, up from 13 in three countries, and its satellite coverage has expanded, boosting sales.
As an ICT pioneer, KT SAT is striving to bring high-speed Internet service to places where it remains mostly unavailable, such as in-flight Wi-Fi service, also known as in-flight connectivity.
KT SAT is also Korea’s largest provider of maritime telecommunications service thanks to a two-way satellite ground station, known as a ‘maritime very small aperture terminal’, or MVSAT. Ships at sea are provided unlimited access to data at a fixed rate in contrast to previous charges based on the amount of data used.
For overseas expansion, KT SAT is exploring the global MVSAT market through its KOREASAT-5A, whose high-powered, dedicated beams for global maritime communications cover Korea’s East Sea, the South and East China seas, the Bay of Bengal and the Arabian Sea.
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