KT Corp. (formerly Korea Telecom), the 2018 Winter Olympics Games’ official sponsor, has announced plans for the first big test run of networking technologies that could herald peak download rates up to 100 times as fast as today’s 4G systems, with delays as low as 1 millisecond. KT’s competitors SK Telecom and LG U+ are also preparing their own 5G Olympic demos. Meanwhile, the South Korean government and the European Union have teamed up to fund still another trial, dubbed 5G Champion, that will include a broadband link between the Olympic Games and a 5G test-bed in Finland.
It’s understandable why they’re all jumping on this bandwagon. After all, there’s no bigger stage for showcasing the possibilities of a new technology than the Olympics. Just as past Games introduced the world to television (Berlin, 1936), satellite broadcasting (Tokyo, 1964), fiber optics (Los Angeles, 1984), and the CCD camera (Barcelona, 1992), Pyeongchang could give spectators a glimpse at the 5G future.