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S. Korea to bolster digital New Deal initiative

14:00 July 22, 2021

SEOUL, July 22 (Yonhap) -- South Korea's ICT ministry said Thursday it will pursue new projects to upgrade the country's digital infrastructure, such as specialized 5G networks, as part of its renewed push for the digital New Deal initiative.

The digital New Deal was unveiled last year with the aim of investing around 58 trillion won (US$50.3 billion) in key digital technologies, such as network infrastructure and artificial intelligence, to create some 900,000 jobs by 2025.

The Ministry of Science and ICT said the country will spend over 49 trillion won over the next four years, with a new focus on establishing specialized 5G networks and expanding the application of artificial intelligence across various industries.

Last month, the ministry announced that it will distribute 5G frequency bands to non-telecom operators by the end of the year to spur the wider adoption of technologies using latest generation networks.

The specialized 5G networks are expected to be utilized in limited business environments to power new digital infrastructure, such as smart factories and smart farms.

The ministry added that it will also support the development of an open metaverse platform in a move to accelerate the adoption of virtual technology across various industries.

The metaverse refers to a shared virtual space, where users interact with each other through digital avatars.

Earlier this year, the country launched a metaverse alliance composed of major companies, including automaker Hyundai Motor Co. and Naver Labs, the research arm of internet giant Naver Corp.

A sign of the Ministry of Science and ICT is seen outside its office in Sejong, 120 kilometers south of Seoul, in this undated file photo provided by the ministry. (PHOTO NOT FOR SALE) (Yonhap)



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