• UK and South Korean businesses to pilot 5G technology on Seoul subways
  • Augmented Reality (AR) trials could revolutionise tourism sector
  • Competition will help drive South Korean investment in the UK and create new opportunities for UK businesses in South Korea

A new UK / South Korea 5G competition has been launched by Digital Minister Margot James to help prepare the UK for a future 5G rollout. Businesses are now being encouraged to apply for a unique opportunity to trial new content and services on South Korea’s transport networks.

The UK and South Korean Governments are funding a £2.4 million project to support businesses in the two countries and develop 5G technology. The project will live test content and services on the Seoul metropolitan subway system.

5G is the next generation of mobile connectivity, providing speeds up to 20 times faster than current 4G technology.

Minister for Digital, Margot James said:

We want the UK to be a world leader in 5G services, and this collaboration with South Korea will create new opportunities for UK businesses abroad and encourage more inward investment. The UK has a huge pool of 5G scientific research and engineering talent, and I would encourage all businesses in this field to enter this innovative competition.

The trials will enable businesses and researchers to investigate and address a number of user and technical challenges that are crucial to the future roll out of 5G.

These could include:

  • Augmented Reality (AR) experiences in busy public spaces, giving tourists and commuters a dramatic new insight to the city and the way in which they experience it.
  • Optimisation of traffic management systems, to better manage commuter flows, reduce overcrowding, improve safety and better protect the environment.
  • Providing uninterrupted infotainment services for commuters such as interactive content, video streaming and gaming, with more reliable and faster services across the subway network.

Chairman of 5G Forum Executive Committee, Prof. DongKu Kim said:

British businesses are renowned for their creative content, design and innovation. We welcome the chance for our technologists and researchers to collaborate with them to create the next generation of mobile entertainment and services.

Additional benefits this innovative collaboration will deliver include:

  • New industry partnerships between UK and South Korean institutions to further trade opportunities for UK companies in South Korea.
  • New South Korean investment opportunities in the UK, helping to diversify the UK telecoms supply chain.
  • Greater access for UK Industry and academia to South Korean technology, hardware, software and intellectual property.

The funding competition is part of the UK’s 5G Testbed & Trials (5GTT) Programme, which aims to maximise the opportunities for UK businesses, especially SMEs, to develop new 5G applications and services for both domestic and global markets. It is a key part of the Government’s modern Industrial Strategy - making sure that the UK has the right infrastructure in place to be a world leader in new 5G technology.

The deadline for applying is 1st June and the competition is being managed by UK5G on behalf of DCMS.