A visual concept image of a robot that travels in indoor space. (Naver)
Samsung Electronics said Thursday it is teaming up with internet giant Naver to set up the nation’s first-ever private 5G network.
The private wireless 5G network, designed to support secure and data-intensive communications of a specific entity within a specific area, will be deployed in Naver’s second headquarters building, called Naver 1784, in the tech hub Bundang district of Seongnam, Gyeonggi Province.
The private network, alongside automated logistics technology by Hyundai Movex, will be used exclusively for multiple Naver robots to travel around the new headquarters building and move between floors with ultralow latency wireless communications. Currently, the 36-story building houses 40 robots that move around three floors to provide services like indoor food or beverage deliveries.
Moreover, robots will be able to navigate around the building with the help of a virtual space that replicates the real world, using a range of technologies such as digital twin, three-dimensional mapping and artificial intelligence.
Samsung Electronics said the private 5G network, poised for operation within June, will serve as a neural network that connects up to tens of thousands of robots in real time and the cloud infrastructure, which acts as a shared brain for the robots. This will allow the robots to travel without a chipset mounted on them.
The news comes about five months after Naver Cloud, Naver’s cloud computing arm, was allocated spectrums on a 4.7 GHz band and a 28 GHz band by the Science Ministry in December 2021 for the first time in history. Naver Cloud is authorized to use the spectrum for five years until end-2026.
In most cases, the government allocates the spectrum for wireless communications to telecommunications companies, but its so-called “e-Um 5G” initiative has encouraged non-telcommunications corporations to make use of the spectrum for advanced use cases.
Samsung said its 5G solutions -- core and 5G radios -- will nearly double the upload capabilities of conventional commercial 5G radios, contributing to the smoother operation of cloud robotics, according to the tech giant.
Samsung and Naver signed a memorandum of understanding for the private 5G collaboration in March. The collaboration between the two companies will extend to upcoming data center projects in Sejong.
So far, the government has approved three private 5G network projects. Other than Naver Cloud, tech solutions companies LG CNS and SK Networks Service have been working to take advantage of a private 5G network to enhance their respective smart factory solutions. The rest of the projects are poised for launch within 2022.