SEOUL, South Korea, June 27, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- KT CEO Hwang Chang-gyu delivered a speech to officials from the UN and global telecom companies, proposing to cooperate to contain infectious diseases by using big data solution. KT is planning to release its big data analysis algorithm related to containing the spread of highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) and foot-and-mouth disease (FMD). KT will also support developing countries to adopt disease prevention systems in cooperation with the UN.
- The UN, governments, and telecom companies need to cooperate to form a United front to contain the global spread of infectious disease.
KT CEO Hwang Chang-gyu, (www.kt.com) delivered a speech titled "Pioneering a Limitless World" to UN officials and global business leaders at the UN Global Compact Leaders Summit 2016 held at the Marriott Marquis Hotel in New York on June 23rd.
CEO Hwang took the stage as the first main speaker at the UNGC Leaders Summit 2016 to urge global telecom companies to take on new roles for the UN's 17 SDGs (Sustainable Development Goals). The summit was held for two days from the 22nd to the 23rd.
He also presented a case study contributed by KT to contain the spread of avian influenza (AI) disease using its big data solution. The result drawn from the AI outbreak using big data confirmed that the transmission route is in large part identical to the movement route of livestock and poultry, and feed material delivery. KT explained that its big data solution saved $1.8 billion a year.
The big data analysis solution is also applicable to other contagious diseases such as SARS, MERS-CoV, Zika, and EBOLA. CEO Hwang emphasized that concerted efforts made by global telecom companies can prevent the spread of communicable diseases. He supported this claim by stating that big data, location data, and roaming data are available from 7.3 billion mobile phones.
He also suggested the Big Data Initiative on Disease Diffusion Mapping for the UN and global telecom companies, and stressed that a global united front led by the UN can help liberate humans from the fear of infectious diseases which are a threat to our health and happiness. He announced that KT is willing to share its technology and know-how related to ICT infrastructure and big data solution.
He explained the disease control project into three stages of cooperation using big data solution. The first stage is to share the roaming data from a total of 800 telecom companies across the world, followed by the second stage where the telecom companies share the roaming data freely across borders as each government's determined action is required for the public interest handling of the private roaming data. Lastly, the UN will be managing all the governments and global telecom companies.
- About $60 billion to be saved from disease transmission costs
Currently, KT is developing a system to prevent disease transmission using telecommunications big data in coalition with the Ministry of Science, ICT and Future Planning and the Korea Center for Disease Control and Prevention. The system is aiming at minimizing the domestic outbreaks of infectious disease flared up abroad.
Unlike the conventional quarantine system that only checks on the country of departure for a returning traveller, the new system will be able to track down all of the countries visited. Therefore, the new system is widely expected to lower the number of cross-border infection cases by travellers.
KT has developed disease prevention techniques not only for AI but for foot-and-mouth disease, working with the Quarantine Division under the Animal and Plant Quarantine Agency. KT has decided to disclose its big data algorithm for AI and foot-and-mouth disease prevention with the UN like the open source. Following up on the release, KT will also provide its know-hows to any relevant countries or institutions.
Also, KT plans to support developing countries with its AI and foot-and-mouth disease prevention system. Based on the telecommunications network, it will be offering the data collection system for animal transmitted disease control customized to the conditions of each country. It will analyse the disease infection pattern for each country with the UN and help build the quarantine system.
KT is in talks with the World Health Organization, a specialized agency of the United Nations, to set the standardization of airport quarantine procedures. Based on the system under development and ICT know-hows in Korea, it plans to introduce measures and process applicable to different situations for each different country.
The economic benefit from the cooperation of global telecom companies is expected to be substantial. Global Health Risk Framework (GHRF) estimated at the start of this year that an annual average of $60 billion or more is incurred due to the potential outbreak of infectious disease. In fact, the Zika virus poured cold water on the fervor of 2016 Summer Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro and caused an estimated billions of dollars in losses.
- Technology revolution beyond its limit -- the drive for a "better tomorrow"
Before the proposal calling for global cooperation to contain disease transmission, CEO Hwang elaborated on the pioneering limitless world. In the new era of IoT where all objects are connected to the Internet, he suggested that telecom companies should be able to contribute to the problem solving for societal and economic development while providing network connectivity. He presented the detailed case study of KT's GiGA Story.
A case in point is Baengnyeongdo, the northernmost island of South Korea, faced with the double threats of security and disaster. He introduced GiGA Shelter for video calling and real time application services to help users to check on the ships anchored in the dock with their mobile phones. In addition to Baengnyeongdo Island, KT has been running GiGA Story on Imjado Island in South Jeolla, the DMZ in Daeseong-dong, and Cheonghakdong Village on Mt. Jiri.
Up until now, the solution to the digital divide was mostly focused on improving digital accessibility in developing countries or marginalized communities. However, KT's GiGA Story goes beyond the simple Internet service provision to offer a customized solution to isolated areas. GiGA Story is now built in other countries as well. In partnership with the Bangladesh government and the International Organization for Migration (IOM), the first global GiGA Story will be built on Maheshkhali Island, Bangladesh.
During the speech, the audience empathized with CEO Hwang when he shared his lifetime goal as an engineer to bring social changes and economic development through technologies. He continued that he strives to overcome obstacles instead of accepting the given situations as they are.
He also pointed out that the roles of telecom companies should be different from those in the past as ICT technology innovation is taking place such as IoT, Virtual Reality, Augmented Reality, Artificial Intelligence, self-driving vehicles, robots, and drones. While telecom companies only provided network services in the past, now they need to be on the frontline to make a "better tomorrow" with innovative convergence ICT business models.
- ICT convergence solution: a key to issues like climate change, a major threat to mankind
CEO Hwang said the ICT technology innovation connecting up all the objects creating big data will enable telecom companies to come up with the solution to problems that the mankind is faced with.
He took the example of climate change, a major global issue. The approach needs to be more focused on network-based energy efficiency maximization than renewable energy, which costs an astronomical amount of investment.
KT has successfully commercialized the world's first composite energy solution KT-MEG (Micro Energy Grid). In fact, domestic hospitals have saved up to 72% of energy costs with KT-MEG, which can be a new solution to climate change. If KT-MEG is implemented in 10% of buildings or institutions in Korea, the energy saved can be translated into electricity generated by five nuclear power plants, or $57 billion a year in dollar terms. When applied globally, it can be a feasible solution to tackle climate change more so than renewable energy.
CEO Hwang attended the opening ceremony at the UNGC Leaders Summit 2016 on the 22nd and exchanged opinions about sustainable development with global business leaders. Global leaders expressed interest in KT's GiGA Story, GiGA LTE at GiGA speed for both wired and wireless connection, and GiGA Wire. In particular, the most attention was given to the 2pairs LAN GiGA internet solution as it provides customers in a LAN environment with 1Gbps speed, a solution developed by KT for the first time in the world.
On the afternoon of the 23rd, CEO Hwang had a meeting with Forest L. Reinhardt, the John D. Black Professor of Business Administration at Harvard Business School, who is a globally-renowned professor in the field of sustainable management. They sat down and talked about cases in Korea on sustainable management, including GiGa Story.
"The big data project for Big Data Initiative on Disease Diffusion Mapping proposed at the UNGC is only the beginning," said CEO Hwang. "Telecom companies need to work hard for a more convenient, safer, and happier life for all based on ICT convergence solution and massive big data in the new era of IoT."
Inquiry: Park Jin-woo, Deputy General Manager of PR Department, KT
 As part of the United Nations, UNGC has encouraged companies to join the sustainable development initiative since its foundation in 2000. Currently, 14,000 participants including 8,800 companies in 160 countries have joined the initiative. UNGC Leaders Summit invites UN officials, its signatories, and participants to discuss sustainable development every three years.
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SOURCE KT Corp