By Seo Dong-chul and Choi Mira
South Korea’s leading mobile carrier SK Telecom Co. established a strategic partnership with HERE, a global provider of digital maps, to cooperate in developing fifth-generation (5G) network-based mapping services and technology, the company said on Wednesday.
SK Telecom and HERE signed an agreement in Las Vegas on Tuesday (local time) to join hands in numerous projects to develop high-definition (HD) maps for autonomous cars, location-based services and Internet of Things (IoT) technology, and other joint businesses across the world. HERE is a company that provides digital maps, real-time traffic information and GPS services in more than 200 countries. It is owned by a consortium of German automakers such as Audi, BMW and Mercedes, and U.S. chipmaker Intel. Japan’s automotive electronics firm Pioneer also holds a partial stake in the company.
Under the partnership, the Korean wireless carrier agreed to share its 5G and IoT networks and services, mobile navigation technology, 7 million-odd contents and cloud server, while HERE will offer its technology for HD mapping and global distribution networks.
The two firms decided to develop a 5G-based HD map that can be updated in real time for Korea’s major highways as their first joint project in the first half of this year. The 5G network is the latest network technology with a 0.001 second response time and it is expected to provide speeds at least 10 times and up to maybe 100 times faster than today’s 4G network. They plan to supply the HD maps and auto update solutions to location-based service providers and finished car makers.
“The telematics and connected car sectors will become the first sector to apply 5G revolution,” said SK Telecom CEO Park Jung-ho, adding that the company will lead changes on the road and in the cities with HERE.