IT firms aim to be in limelight at FINA championships

By Kim Young-won
  • Published : Jul 11, 2019 - 17:02
  • Updated : Jul 11, 2019 - 17:33

More than 2,000 athletes from around the world are flocking to Gwangju, 330 kilometers south of Seoul, to compete in the 2019 FINA World Aquatics Championships from Friday to July 28.

While the athletes vie for medals, electronics and telecom companies will try to gain global attention during the biennial international event.

As one of the main sponsors for the FINA championships, South Korea’s leading telco KT will showcased its latest fifth-generation technologies, ranging from advanced broadcasting networks and equipment for operation centers to 5G-based telecom airships and robot baristas.

South Korean women’s water polo players pose for a photo before training at a pool on June 27 ahead of the 2019 FINA World Aquatics Championships in Gwangju. (Yonhap)

Earlier this week, the company said it had completed the installation of landline and wireless communications networks at the arenas and test runs.

To allow visitors, participants and athletes to experience 5G services, the telecom giant has installed 5G networks at indoor and outdoor arenas, accommodations and other facilities for the event. It will also run 5G showrooms from Friday to Aug. 18 at Market Street, where dining, entertainment and cultural events will take place.

Aquatic sports fans will be able to see giant airships, called Skyship, hovering near the event venues. The airships, featuring advanced network devices and high-definition cameras, will capture moments of the sports competitions, and enable visitors at 5G showrooms to watch livestreamed videos of the city.

Meanwhile, tech giant Samsung Electronics has donated its flagship products, including smartphones, headphones and fridges, for the championships. The company has supported the aquatics championships since 2015.

For this year’s Gwangju event, the company has launched the “Make the Wave” campaign to help connect athletes with fans through music and digital devices, such as smartphones and headsets.

Renowned athletes, including swimmer Simone Manuel and Paralympic swimmer Kim Se-jin, known as the “robotic leg swimmer,” are participating in the campaign.

“I am glad to be able to share my stories and songs by participating in the ‘Make the Wave’ campaign, which corresponds with my can-do spirit. I hope all swimmers will leave the competition without any regrets and that sports fans will cheer on the athletes loudly,” said Simone Manuel in a press release.

In addition, the company has set up a 255-square-meter experience zone in the athletes’ village. At the showrooms, international athletes will be able to try out a wide range of Samsung devices, including the Galaxy S10 and the AKG N700 headphones.

By Kim Young-won (