South Korea’s LG Uplus is sinking its feet deeper into the country’s enterprise market segment with plans to grow sales of its smart factory-oriented business sevenfold over the next five years.
To automate workload and improve safety, the telecom operator has recently been developing industrial solutions that use its 4G and 5G networks. Company executives said that these wireless communication technologies will help its smart factory clients save costs, via easy monitoring and minimising waste.
"We are on track to be a leader in this business, and LG Uplus will try to provide customised solutions to fit diverse businesses and factory sizes," said Seo Jae-yong, smart infrastructure unit chief at LG Uplus, during an online conference last week.
The availability of an advanced and fast telecom network is necessary for the smooth operation of smart factory systems. Smart factories use embedded, automated solutions for manufacturing purposes. They help to streamline material flows required for all the specific processes involved in manufacturing across the factory floor.
The company said the smart factory solutions on its wireless network are an improvement over existing services that use Wi-Fi as they offer more stable connection while moving.
To date, LG Uplus smart factory solutions are deployed in 150 locations across the country by around 100 enterprise customers.
Enterprise market focus
LG Uplus has recently moved its traditional wireless network service, shifting its focus towards non-telecom services. In July, company CEO Hwang Hyeon-sik revealed the target to raise the share of non-telecom services to 30% of the company’s total sales by 2025. Currently, this market segment accounts for 20% of LG Uplus’ total sales.
LG Uplus’ enterprise infrastructure solution sector, which includes its smart factory business, logged sales of 134.2 billion won in the second quarter, up 34.3% on-year.
The smart factory market for South Korea's local telecom operators is estimated to value 200 billion won or (US$171.3 million) annually in five years, LG Uplan wants to capture more than half of this market.
LG Uplus has revamped its smart factory business into 12 services, which include a motor diagnosis solution that uses a big data-based algorithm to predict signs of motor malfunction in factories by analysing electrical data.
It also offers a smart video safety system that analyses video and sound in real time to detect and notify safety issues, including sparks, smoke or steam, and abnormal temperatures.