LG Uplus Looking to be Korea’s Top VR Content Provider

LG Uplus seems to be going all-in on VR to raise its 5G network subscribers. LG is Korea’s third-largest mobile carrier behind SK and KT. They hope that their focus on VR will be their way of breaking into the top 2. This will be their strategy to differentiate themselves in the highly-competitive 5G race. 5G will offer fast network speeds with low latency. This means there will be little to no buffering for live streaming. Therefore they will be able to offer the best and immersive VR experience possible. The VR content from LG Uplus has gotten a lot of critical praise and Korean consumers seem to be loving their demos as well.

The company has opened a promotional booth where thousands have visited and experienced the differences in LG’s VR content compared to SK and KT. Some of their VR content include K Pop idols performing on stage through their Uplus Idol Live app. The telecommunications company already has over 1 million 5G customers to date and has over 25,000 5G base stations across Korea. The Korean government said that local carriers altogether have deployed a total of 115,000 5G base stations across Korea.

LG Uplus Partners with Google and Huawei to Invest in VR Content

LG UplusLG Uplus had two unlimited data plans for 5G smartphones. This was to bring in new subscribers for their VR content. The prices ranged from 85,000 won to 95,000 won for early subscribers (Before July 2019). In early 2019, LG Uplus set up a fund with Google to invest in VR content. Therefore for the first half of 2019, LG strictly invested in VR content. The content will be viewed through the LG Uplus platforms.

In addition, the telecommunications company has partnered with Huawei the world’s leading 5G provider to build 5G base stations. In addition, they will work together to develop ultra-HD video and VR/AR services based on 5G networks to enable new applications. LG’s main focus for 2020 will be on the planning and production of VR content in Korea. In addition, Google will have global distribution rights through YouTube.

LG Uplus Supplies 5G VR Content to Taiwan, Hong Kong, and Japan

LG UplusLG Uplus is now supplying 5G VR content to Taiwan’s largest telecommunication firm Chunghwa Telecom Co. Over 180 Kpop VR content will be provided by LG Uplus. They are also supplying VR content to PCCW Group, which is Hong Kong’s top telecommunication firm with over 4.5 million subscribers. In addition, Japan’s second-largest wireless carrier KDDI, which has over 60 million subscribers in Japan are working with LG Uplus for 5G content.

So far, LG Uplus has exported 5G content products worth over $10 million. They will look to supply their VR content to other countries in Southeast Asia and Europe.

“LG U+ will raise the level of 5G services that have strengths by one notch to make 2020 the first year that will expand into 5G global markets,” said the managing director of AR/VR services at LG U+, Choi Yoon-ho.

LG Uplus’s 5G Strategies for 2020

It is estimated that LG Uplus already have a little of 30% of the 5G market share in South Korea. This is mainly due to its focus on AR and VR content. They have already started to bundle VR headsets with selected plans. Their content focuses on sports content like baseball and golf which are very popular in South Korea. Furthermore, they have already launched other forms of video such as multi-view sports broadcasting which takes advantage of the higher speed of 5G networks.

“The baseball app targets users in their 30s and 40s, while the golf app targets those in their 50s and 60s,” said the Vice President charge of the mobile service division at LG Uplus, Park Jong-wook.

LG Uplus also partnered with Chinese startup Nreal to launch AR glasses in Korea for 2020. The Nreal Light AR glasses will be coming out at some point in 2020. This means LG Uplus will be producing a wide range of 5G-based content like AR showrooms and 3D AR educational content. Furthermore, the Telcom company will look to expand coverage and its service offerings. For example, they will look to optimize and improve 5G indoor coverage which at the moment is showing lower performance when compared to 4G.

LG Uplus is now #2 in Korea’s paid TV market with the acquisition of CJ Hello Co.

LG Uplus acquired CJ Hello Co. in a deal valued at over $660 million. CJ Hello Co. will not be called LG Hello Vision Corp. This puts LG Uplus #2 behind KT. They will continue to focus on upgrading broadcasting content and developing technologies that can get the most out of the network infrastructure between the two companies.

LG Uplus Sees Rise in Profits Since COVID-19

LG Uplus released a statement saying their operating profits were up 11% compared to last year. The reason for this was the higher indoor activities by customers during the COVID-19 pandemic. The profits are mainly from video-on-demand, cloud data use, and mobile payments. This trend is not slowing down anytime soon. Look for LG Uplus to actively invest in 5G technologies heading into 2021.