US-South Korea live hologram call via 5G is a world first

5 Apr 2017

Seoul. Image: ESB Professional

KT and Verizon claim to have made the first ever 5G international holographic call, with next-generation connectivity slowly edging into view.

South Korean telecoms giant KT is building on its relationship with Verizon, its US counterpart, with the two companies combining this week to produce the first hologram call over 5G.

The demo took placed during a meeting between KT CEO Hwang Chang-gyu and Verizon CEO Lowell McAdam.

“The collaboration under the current partnership of Verizon and KT has been very productive as shown by the demos we have seen today,” said McAdam. “We will continue to work together to lead the global 5G business by developing innovative technologies and services.”

The call, or any such similar attempt, requires high data rate, massive traffic volume and low latency. Obstacles in this regard only grow when the interconnected world we have is taken into consideration, realising that cross-border collaboration will be needed.

According to The Korea Herald, the two companies also tested interconnection of their orchestrators, “a key system to control virtual infrastructure resources, based on the software-defined infrastructure, known as SDI”. Another first.

“Both companies plan to jointly propose the specification of the orchestrators as an international standard,” reads the report.


Partnerships are becoming the norm in terms of 5G development. In January, a big push towards connectivity saw China Mobile’s ‘big connectivity’ strategy bring Ericsson into the fold.

The two companies want to start in-depth cooperation to manage connections efficiently, provide a consistent service to global enterprise customers and explore new IoT markets.

China Mobile will use Ericsson’s device connectivity platform to streamline the process for provisioning, as well as deploy services to capitalise on new business opportunities.

Meanwhile, the EU Horizon 2020 initiative’s latest research project sees €5m invested into ORCA (Orchestration and Reconfiguration Control Architecture), a study on approaches to faster wireless internet speeds.

Running until the end of 2019, ORCA takes in the Trinity College Dublin-based Connect Centre, alongside research groups in Belgium, Germany, Switzerland and the US.

Ploughing ahead

In February, data compiled by Viavi Solutions revealed that 25 mobile operators are lab-testing 5G.

Among these, 12 have progressed to field-testing while an additional four have announced their plans for 5G.

Five operators have reached data speeds of 35Gbps or more in 5G trials. To date, Etisalat has demonstrated the highest data speed of 36 Gbps, with Ooredoo conducting tests at 35.46 Gbps.

Optus, M1 and StarHub have reached 35Gbps, with all other players conducting 5G trials reporting data transmission speeds of at least 2Gbps. Operators are testing across a wide range of bandwidths, ranging from sub-3GHz to 86GHz.

Of those that have disclosed their test spectrum, the most commonly trialled wavelength is 28GHz, with eight companies currently using it. 15GHz is being used in trials by seven operators.

Gordon Hunt was a journalist with Silicon Republic