KT, Microsoft partner to boost AI, cloud initiatives in Korea

KT and Microsoft plan to jointly develop AI, cloud and IT services specifically tailored for the Korean market

South Korean carrier KT has formed a strategic alliance with U.S. tech giant Microsoft with the aim of collaborating on artificial intelligence, cloud and information technology initiatives.

The Korean operator noted that the strategic alliance is designed to leverage its know-how in operating domestic telecom services and Microsoft’s technology to introduce artificial intelligence (AI) innovations in South Korea.

Under the terms of the strategic agreement, the pair plans to jointly develop AI, cloud and IT services specifically tailored for the Korean market.

The two companies also aim to establish an AI and cloud innovation center as well as to accelerate related R&D projects.

The partners did not revealed investment figures for these initiatives, but KT said that detailed implementation strategies will be unveiled by September of this year.

Under the partnership, KT plans to use Microsoft’s technology for “sovereign AI and sovereign cloud” projects to deliver enhanced data sovereignty and security features to public and financial sectors in Korea.

“Microsoft has been seeking a Korean partner given Korea’s advanced IT and cloud services compared with other Asian countries. Also, it’s not easy for a foreign firm to handle Korea’s complex and evolving regulatory landscape,” a KT executive reportedly said.

Last year, KT unveiled Mi:dm, a generative AI service for corporate clients. The generative AI service is a large language model (LLM) trained on over one trillion tokens. A token is the basic unit of text or code that an LLM uses to process and generate language.

Mi:dm is a private LLM that companies can customize for their business needs, according to KT. Under its new partnership with Microsoft, the Korean carrier plans to develop its Mi:dm AI into an industry-specific smaller LLM or sLLM model, it said.

In February, KT signed a strategic partnership with Amazon Web Services (AWS) with the aim of developing customized mobile and generative AI services for corporate customers.

In related news, KT recently announced the launch of a “customer perceived quality analysis system” that improves 5G and LTE service quality through AI. This system collects and analyzes more than 1 billion pieces of customer quality information per day in real time, including wireless signal strength, noise interference rate and data download speed. The analyzed information is converted into data and organized into grid roads or buildings.

Using this, the quality inside 3 million buildings across the country, such as department stores, shopping malls and terminals can be identified more precisely by floor and space. In the case of the subway, the system checks the quality information of platform and tunnel sections in detail for each route and visualizes and notifies points that require improvement.

KT engineers can use the new system to quickly inspect the network status and determine specific areas where the network needs to be improved.

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