South Korean mobile operators KT Corporation and SK Telecom have launched the world’s first national emergency telecommunications network, in collaboration with Samsung Electronics, to help cope with natural disasters and emergencies.
The emergency telecommunications network is a next-generation wireless network established under the lead of the government to effectively respond to major natural disasters and emergencies, such as forest fire and earthquake through an integrated on-site control system. The project began when the need for a national emergency telecommunications network that can be used by multiple organizations was raised after the sinking of Sewol ferry in 2014.
The newly established telecommunications network integrated the wireless networks of 333 state institutions in eight areas, including police, firefighting, national defense, railroads, and local governments. The network has been established according to the emergency telecommunications network standard developed by the 3rd Generation Partnership Project (3GPP), an umbrella term for a number of mobile telecommunications standards organizations, which is available both on land and at sea.
KT Corp. is in charge of establishing the network in Section A (Seoul, Sejong, Jeju, etc.) and Section B (Gyeonggi, Gangwon, etc.) and SK Telecom is responsible for Section C (Busan, Incheon, etc.). Samsung Electronics has supplied equipment for base stations.
The network was launched in Section C in March and has recently been established in other sections. Control centers are installed in three cities including Seoul, Daegu, and Jeju, and redundancy is built into the network in order to prevent interruption in case of failure. The network is capable of handling communications of up to 2,500 devices in real time and supports direct communications between devices, enabling wireless communications even in mountain areas and underground.
Gun-Huk Lee firstname.lastname@example.org