KT’s ‘GiGA Island’ is a corporate CSV (Creating Shared Value) initiative that aims to enhance the quality of life and provide better access in terms of education, culture, and healthcare for people who live in remote areas, such as highlands and islands, by providing high-speed internet and ICT solutions. KT first launched the ‘GiGA Island’ in 2014 and currently operates five locations in Korea. Bangladesh marks the first global launch of KT’s ‘GiGA Island.’
The ‘GiGA Island’ opening ceremony in Bangladesh was held in an extraordinary fashion. Hwang Chang-Gyu, the CEO of KT, delivered his congratulatory speech via video conferencing in KT’s Gwanghwamun building located in Seoul, while Zunaid Ahmed Palak, the Bangladesh State Minister of ICT (Information & Communications Technologies) joined the ceremony from Dhaka. At the same time, Sheikh Hasina, the Prime Minister of Bangladesh, celebrated the launch of the ‘GiGA Island’ on the Moheshkhali Island together with the residents, and conducted interviews with the residents in person.
The Giga Island
The ‘GiGA Island’ in Bangladesh is based on multilateral partnerships by the Bangladesh government, international organizations, public institutions, and non-governmental organizations (NGOs). The Bangladesh Ministry of ICT, International Organization for Migration (IOM) and KT signed a trilateral MOU at Mobile World Congress 2016 in Spain, and State Minister of ICT, Zunaid Ahmed, had already visited the ‘GiGA Island’ in Korea during May of last year.
Moheshkhali is a small island located in the southeast part of the Bay of Bengal with a total population of 250,000. Due to geographical limitations and a poor telecommunications environment, the residents of the island had limited access to public services including education, medical services, and information.
KT connected the Moheshkhali Island to the inland areas by installing the wireless network technology ‘GiGA Microwave’ and used copper-based KT’s providing giga-level internet solution ‘GiGA Wires’ to circulate network traffic within the island. With the ‘GiGA Microwave’, the island could successfully receive 500Mbps internet service, and the ‘GiGA Wire’ enables the island’s internet speed at the most 100Mbps. This enabled more than 30% of the residents in Moheshkhali to communicate with the world through high-speed internet.
KT also enabled a remote education platform for elementary school students by providing a video conference solution to 12 different education institutions on the island. This platform, the ‘KBOX,’ provides Full HD screen with at least 3Mbps and supports the simultaneous connection of up to 8 different locations. Notably, this platform does not require many resources for maintenance or operation. According to this, the teachers in Moheshkhali Island can now provide various educational contents through the network, in addition to textbooks.
KT will also provide digital healthcare services at five different hospitals in Moheshkhali Island with its network. The services include a mobile ultrasonic instrument called the ‘Ultrasound’ and a mobile urine diagnosis instrument ‘Yodoc’. The two services will collect residents’ medical data and enable them to see a doctor through video conferencing. This information will be shared between hospitals in Dhaka and Cox’s Bazar, and community health centers in Moheshkhali Island in order to establish a remote medical diagnosis system.
“KT has achieved many of its Sustainable Development Goals based on technology and solution by operating five different GiGA Islands in Korea for the last two years,” said Yoon Jong-Jin, Executive Vice President in Public Relations office in KT “Based on our experience, we put our utmost efforts to provide the best IT solutions for education and medical treatments in Moheshkhali. We will continue to cooperate with the government of Bangladesh to better support the island in the future.”
Zunaid Ahmed Palak, the State Minister of the ICT Department of Bangladesh, said: “The synergistic effect of ‘Digital Bangladesh 2021’ and KT’s ‘GiGA Island’ exceeds expectations. We plan to further expand this model to other locations in Bangladesh in collaboration with KT.”
Additional Info about Giga Island
Giga Microwave: a wireless network technology that can provide giga-internet service to remote areas without the fiber-optic connection
GiGA Wire: a solution that provides giga-level internet speed through an existing landline, specialized for areas where it is difficult to construct optical cable
KBox: KT’s video conference solution, which provides Full HD video and voice and smooth communication environment with at least 3Mbps and supports the simultaneous connection of up to 8 different locations.
Ultrasound: the first mobile ultrasonic instrument in the world and the data from such instrument can send to another mobile devices and hospitals.
Yodoc: a mobile urine diagnosis instrument, which can manage/prevent 20 different kinds of disease such as nephritis, liver diseases, pancreatitis, etc.