SK Telecom’s new CEO Park Jeong-ho told BusinessKorea that his company will invest $9 billion over the next three years in artificial intelligence (AI), Internet of Things (IoT), autonomous vehicles, and 5G.
Specifically, Jeong-ho said the company will spend $4.17 billion on a new information communications and technology (ICT) system that will transform the company from a service provider into a platform operator. The company said its ICT system will include big data and storage, autonomous and connected car, smart home and energy management, and media and content.
SK Telecom will spend another $5 billion on its 5G network over the next three years. Jeong-ho said this investment is similar to what SK Telecom spent on its LTE network in 2012.
The company is working closely with Santa Clara, California-based Nvidia to develop its autonomous and connected car systems. The relationship between the two companies was highlighted at the recent Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas.
At a CES panel on 5G, Alex Choi, CTO and head of corporate R&D at SK Telecom said the company is planning to improve the upstream pipeline of 5G so that the carrier will be able to deliver live broadcasting services.
For example, Choi said the company envisions creating a new media experience by letting consumers upload augmented reality or virtual reality video feeds using 5G.
On the IoT front, SK Telecom’s new investment will likely complement its existing IoT networks. The company said earlier this year that it had finished deploying a low-power wide-area (LoRa) network and that the network would work in conjunction with the carriers’ LTE CAT-M network that is also intended for IoT applications. SK plans to have 4 million IoT devices on its networks by the end of 2017.