By Joseph Waring
The GSMA’s M360 APAC conference commences on September 7 in Seoul, the capital city of hyper-connected South Korea, home to the world’s first commercial 5G services and the third-highest level of active social media users, with many local enterprises looking to be global leaders in AI and 6G.
Operators introduced 5G services in early 2019, with close collaboration involving the government, academia and industry.
Today Korea is one of the most 5G-connected countries in the world, with mobile connections on the technology accounting for more than half of the nation’s total.
After more than four years of rapid growth, GSMA Intelligence data for Q2 showed 5G connections continue to grow at 28 per cent a year.
The GSMA’s regional event in Seoul features three keynote speakers from Korea on day one: the vice Minister of Science and ICT (MSIT); Samsung’s chief of networks; and the new CEO of operator KT.
The event has a broad theme of “a new future led by digital advancements” and MSIT Vice Minister Park Yun Kyu told Mobile World Live his presentation will delve into how AI, data platforms and 6G will drive future innovation, as well as touch on various government initiatives including establishing a new digital order to embrace the era of deeper digitisation.
Head of Samsung’s Network Business, Kim Woo June claimed the early commercialisation of 5G networks allowed local operators to analyse and understand user behaviour and introduce OTT video, AR/VR and live-streaming services.
Kim argued additional services and applications including the metaverse and generative AI have emerged and changed the country’s cultural landscape. In the case of private networks, 5G is also reshaping the industrial landscape across various verticals, he said.
The executive said his presentation will highlight how software will be a game-changer for the future of networks.
By combining a software-driven approach to mobile infrastructure with innovative technologies including AI, Kim said operators can optimise network performance to meet increasing demands for connectivity.
With growing complexity, the mobile network ecosystem requires close collaboration among stakeholders more than any other industry, Kim added. “I expect this event to be a meaningful opportunity for industry leaders and the government to share their vision and collaborate closely to curate the next generation of digital nations.”
Other keynote speakers include China Mobile chairman Yang Jie, Globe Telecom president and CEO Ernest Cu and Hans Wijayasuriya, CEO of Axiata Group’s telecoms business.
Head of APAC at the GSMA, Julian Gorman teased the organisation’s Digital Societies report, set to be released at M360 APAC.
It focuses on what governments in Asia-Pacific need to do to integrate digital technologies and services into every sector of the economy. He added governments and industry leaders will gather in Seoul to discuss the key components of what is needed to build a digital nation.
As digital technologies and services play an increasingly central role in the economies of Asia-Pacific countries, Gorman stated the two vital components are “a whole-of-government approach and international collaboration, in view of the cross-sector and cross-border implications of digital policies and initiatives”.
In addition to keynotes focused on the digital nation theme, the conference offers a number of industry tracks covering mobility transformation, including Revolution in the Air; the Diversity for Tech Summit; and the Digital Transformation Acceleration Summit.
A Strategies for Building Inclusive Digital Nations session features speakers from Malaysia’s Ministry of Communications and Digital, Korea’s Telecommunication Policy Bureau, Mobitel and CK Hutchison.
Meanwhile, a 6G Vision panel has speakers from KDDI Research, SoftBank Corp, the 6G Forum, Ericsson, Nokia and LG Electronics.
The two-day programme features more than 130 speakers across 30 sessions and is expected to draw around 1,000 attendees from more than 50 countries.