Sporting events are hotbeds for mobile device usage, and perhaps none more so than the Olympic Games. The event comes around once every few years, and hops countries every game, ensuring that those wanting to catch more than one event will have no choice but to travel internationally. Being an athlete in the Olympics requires an incredible amount of training and skill, and being there, for most, requires an incredible amount of money. Naturally, that makes it the sort of thing you would want to document and share. To help with that goal, Samsung has announced that they're partnering up with KT, better known as Korea Telecom, in an attempt to roll out 5G a full two years before most companies' projections have it as being available to the public. Specifically, they plan to ensure that those who bring compatible devices to the 2018 Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea will be able to take advantage of a nearly full-fledged 5G network.
Samsung let the world know that they wanted to pursue a 5G-enabled 2018 Olympic venue all the way back in 2014, but the dream has taken a good few steps toward becoming a reality since then. The 3GPP is on the verge of defining a 5G standard, network technologies have advanced significantly, and many companies and carriers are achieving 5G tests well into the double-digit gigabit speed area. This climate is about as perfect as things could be at this point in the game for Samsung and KT to conduct initial tests with specialized hardware, which is exactly what they've done.
Technology companies and wireless carriers the world over are coming together in spectacular fashion to not only get 5G out the door, but to help develop and shape it, a feat that will help with quick and easy integration. Most carriers are going with a small-cell layout for their 5G networks, relying on high-band spectrum that can carry a ton of data over short distances and isn't quite as good at traveling and piercing buildings as traditional LTE spectrum. For a goal like outfitting the Olympics with 5G, of course, this is an ideal setup; with network technology where it is these days, putting a small cell under each row is perfectly feasible, so Samsung and KT's goal may well be met.