Korea to boost its own 4G technology
By Kim Tae-gyu
With greater infiltration of long-term evolution (LTE), the war to preempt the third- and fourth-generation wireless telecom technologies involves another player, homegrown technology in Korea dubbed WiBro. The country strives to boost the format to carve out a niche in the 4G market.
Toward that end, the Ministry of Knowledge Economy (MKE) said Tuesday that related government organizations had convened to come up with ways to underpin the next-generation version of WiBro, or WiBro-adv.
``LTE is predicted to become mainstream but WiBro could also assume a substantial portion of the pie with a market share between 10 and 20 percent by 2015,’’ an MKE official said.
``In particular, WiBro networks can be established more easily and affordably in comparison to its rival. The advantages are projected to attract countries in Southeast Asia or the Middle East.’’
In specific action plans, the MKE strives to encourage state-backed research agencies to continue to develop WiBro-associated solutions while test facilities will be strengthened so that private developers can take advantage of them.
By and large, LTE has been dubbed suitable for nationwide networks while WiBro is fit for densely populated districts. The MKE claims that the latter also excels in stability and security.
Both platforms were recognized as global standards for 4G technologies early this year.
Korean companies like Samsung Electronics and LG Electronics work on both options but the chances are that they would benefit more from WiBro from the perspective of patents.
The dynamic duo of Asia’s No. 4 economy accounts for around 30 percent of all WiBro patents while they take up some 20 percent for LTE.
In fact, Korean companies have been deeply involved in the birth and nurturing of WiBro.
The country started developing commercial products of WiBro in late 2004 and launched services midway through 2006. For WiBro-adv, Samsung plans to unveil commercial products next year.
``The competition between LTE and WiBro is still ongoing and we retain an edge on WiBro as our small- and medium-sized enterprises churn out competitive products,’’ the MKE official said. ``In fact, they form an ecosystem.’’
As of the end of last year, WiBro has advanced into a total of 22 countries across the world and the first 4G services are expected to be initiated next year in Japan.