By Yoon Sung-won

KT, the nation’s largest fixed line operator, said Sunday that it has launched a satellite long-term evolution (LTE) mobile network on the Dokdo islets.

It said the satellite network will provide more stable communication for the nation’s easternmost islets even during a natural event such as a typhoon.

“The Dokdo islets position makes them vulnerable to natural disasters and military threats,” said KT’s network division head Oh Sung-mok. “We will continue working to provide a stable communication network and convenience for the islets’ residents. ”

Despite its geopolitical importance, the islets have been connected to other parts of the nation only through a microwave network. This has raised the need for an emergency safety network to prepare for an urgent situation such as natural disasters.

The satellite LTE network has been jointly developed by the telecom company and its satellite operating affiliate KT SAT. It is the nation’s only network solution that enables the LTE connection using a satellite as a base station.

KT said the establishment of the satellite LTE will secure “golden time” for the nation’s disaster response authorities to quickly counteract urgent situations.

The company also said the satellite LTE network can be linked to its earthquake detection sensors and weather sensors to monitor the likeliness of natural disasters such as a typhoon in real-time, improving the safety of the residents in the islets.

KT said it also plans to expand the capacity of its existing microwave network between the Ulleungdo Island and the Dokdo islets by 25 times within July. This is expected to allow the residents to use services such as telemedicine and high-definition video streaming on the upgraded wireless network.

SOURCE: The Korea Times