SK Telecom, the country’s largest mobile carrier, is looking to use the Yeosu Expo to showcase its advancements in fourth-generation Long-Term Evolution (LTE) networks and technology. The company’s “We _ Cloud” exhibition, which highlights the ubiquity of the Internet moving toward mobile devices, is already one of the most popular draws at the international exposition.
SK Telecom will provide LTE services to visitors for the three-month event, which is expected to draw more than 10 million guests.
“The SK Telecom team has been preparing for the Yeosu Expo for two years,” said Baik Jung-gi who oversees on-site coverage. “The wireless network is like a war zone at Yeosu, and having created an LTE network that considers the geography of exhibition halls and Yeosu, we are ready to provide faster and better services than our competitors.”
SK Telecom’s LTE coverage stretches from the parking lot at the entrance to the seashore facilities at the edge of the venues. In those 25 square kilometers, SK Telecom has installed 179 base stations and 82 remote radio units.
For the city of Yeosu as a whole, a district that includes 350 smallish islands, the carrier built 288 access points in areas with high expected use of cellular and data traffic. The network can maintain connectivity for up to 150,000 people simultaneously, about 50 percent larger than the expected average visitors per day of 100,000.
“We haven’t had that many people gathered in one place together since the 2002 Korea-Japan World Cup. But our network proved to be seamless, near perfect,” said Baik, who worked with the employees of SK Telecom’s western regional network office to build a network the firm is calling “a special LTE area.”
The day-to-day network status will be checked from the on-site control centre, with information relayed to SK Telecom’s offices in Gwangju and Seoul. Thirty experts are rotating 24 hours a day to monitor the network and repair it if connectivity fails.
SK Telecom is the only telecommunications company in Yeosu to provide five mobile bases, which will move when ordered by the on-site control centre to a designated location where data traffic is concentrated. Three are currently operational.
A special “MIMO” (multi input, multi output) base station is also near the exhibition and doubles memory capacity compared to rival firms, according to SK Telecom.
The company has also provided 6.1 billion won worth of LTE smartphones, tablet computers and other related mobile devices to
nearly 1,000 employees.
“We _ Cloud,” in the shape of a cloud symbolising the communion of people in the Internet age, is with six other company exhibition halls to the west of the site, and is receiving rave reviews.
“I liked the (SK Telecom) music video footage at the end, it was very emotional and moving,” said one visitor. “I’ve been to all the exhibitions hosted by corporations, but I liked SK Telecom’s best.”
He was talking about “Beautiful Scape,” created by movie director Lee Joon-ik, which took a year to complete and recorded a thousand random people singing “Beautiful Mountains,” a famous Korean rock song by Shin Joong-hyun.
Other features such as “Time Alive” where visitors can leave voice messages to anyone they wish, which will be sent after a year and “Human Alive,” an art gallery with pieces made from digital technology are being received well by the public.
Expo organisers are expecting the number of visitors to soar in the coming summer months and it seems SK Telecom is ready to embrace them all with its well established network and various entertainment at its exhibition.