KDDI, LG Uplus to launch smart drones in Japan, Korea
Japanese carrier KDDI and Korean telco LG Uplus announced plans to launch Coretronic Intelligent Robotics Corporation (CIRC)’s G6.0, a drone compatible with smart drone platforms, in Japan and South Korea.
Headquartered in Taiwan, CIRC’s business focuses on the development of autonomous intelligent robot solutions.
The smart drones will be commercially available in Japan and Korea in the coming months. The three companies signed an operational partnership agreement on March 25. Going forward, the three companies said they aim to expand the drone’s market in Japan and South Korea.
The G6.0 is a portable artificial intelligence (AI)-friendly, fully autonomous drone that weighs less than 3 kg. The device is highly resistant to dust and water and is expected to be used to monitor and inspect infrastructure and large facilities.
“Used in conjunction with the designated G6.0 ‘Nest’ drone port that allows the drone to depart and land with high precision and also charges the drone, the drone enables effective and safe operations without the need to send operators directly into the sites themselves,” KDDI said in a release.
The G6.0 is the first step of the operational partnership to develop a drone platform, signed between KDDI and LG Uplus in June of last year. At that time, the partners noted that a complete unmanned smart drone combined with a high-speed 5G network and cloud computing is in the spotlight as a means of mobility for the future and would be able to provide a massive collection of high-definition images to a control room without distance limitations. Under the 5G network, which is 20 times faster than the 4G, drone performance can be leveraged to its full potential, raising expectations of explosive market growth, the partners said.
The three companies added that they “will continue to expand the line-up of global models that connect to the smart-drone platform, and create new experiences and value through introducing drones to society.”
South Korea’s telecom carrier LG Uplus and Japan’s counterpart KDDI have agreed to partner up in drone technology development to save costs by sharing their drone and platform technologies.
LG Uplus and KDDI had also previously agreed to expand their cooperation in discovering new 5G business opportunities and spreading commercial 5G services related to startup investment and content development.
KDDI launched its 5G wireless services on March 26 in 15 prefectures across Japan. The telco aims to expand its 5G offering nationwide in the coming months.
KDDI also announced plans to install 10,000 base stations by the end of March 2021 and another 10,000 by the end of March 2022.
KDDI President Makoto Takahashi said that the company expects to attract over 2 million 5G users by the end of fiscal 2020, adding the figure is expected to be slightly lower compared to the launch of 4G services.