South Korean telco reduces power usage

Replaced its legacy equipment with Single RAN.

SK Telecom innovated power usage reduction project has been recognised as a successful case of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions reduction by the Korean Government.

Aimed at increasing the efficiency of its network equipment, the project utilizes a technology called Single RAN, which enables integrated operation of SKT’s 3G and LTE network equipment. The company either replaced the outdated 3G and LTE equipment with new equipment applied with Single RAN or upgraded the software of its existing LTE equipment with Single RAN to operate as both 3G and LTE equipment.

By effectively replacing its legacy equipment with Single RAN, SKT earned 1,117 tons of carbon credits in return for the 53 per cent power usage reduction it achieved in 2019, while also effectively improving service quality via increased 3G network capacity and 4G coverage.

This marks one of the first Environmental, Social, Governance (ESG) case where GHG emissions reduction through the use of telecommunications technology has been certified by the Korean Ministry of Environment (MOE). After a year-long research and development, SKT successfully registered its Single RAN-based emissions reduction methodology to MOE’s Offset Registry System and verified the results in an _objective manner to receive carbon credits.

As of October 2020, SKT completed applying Single RAN to all applicable base stations and repeaters installed in 78 cities in Korea including Seoul and thus expects that from 2020 the annual amount of its GHG emissions reduction will increase to 10,000 tons.

The South Korean telco also recently signed an agreement with jointly develop sophisticated AI technologies in areas including AI infrastructure, data and language models to promote growth of the AI industry and ecosystem in Korea. The two companies plan to share AI training data in the form of text, voice and pictures and  actively utilize them for development of technologies. They will begin their investment and development this year and will promote opening up of these technologies to academia and startups.

They also plan to create a joint ESG fund to support innovative startups and SMEs in their ESG activities for sustainable development. The companies are currently considering operating the fund through Kakao Ventures, the venture capital arm of Kakao.

Moreover, SKT and Kakao will also share patents with each other and open them up to ventures and SMEs for the good of the society. The two companies will make best efforts to avoid IPR-related disputes so as to strengthen IPR exchanges, and will jointly create an IPR pool for future business areas including AI, platform and media.

This will enable ventures and SMEs to utilize key technological and business assets of SKT and Kakao free of charge and significantly reduce both time and costs for securing patents.

SKT and Kakao have been working together closely through ‘Synergy Council’ since 2019, when they entered into a strategic partnership and a share swap deal worth KRW 300 billion.












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