Korea continues to be the leader in broadband services with top class Information Technology (IT)
infrastructure, which has attracted global technology companies to invest and test innovative technologies
and services. Among many government driven projects, “Ubiquitous City” (U-City) is expected to trigger
and boost new demand for the latest information and communications technology (ICT) equipment and
solutions. The U-city will be virtually integrated with sensors and sensory networks, and seamlessly
communicate with fixed and wireless communication devices, deployed in social infrastructure, including,
buildings, houses, roads, etc., which will offer efficient urban management system.
Eco-friendliness and easy accessibility are the two main pillars of U-city projects. In 2009, MKE
announced plans to invest USD 8 billion in the green IT by 2013 with as much as an additional USD 90
billion in promises from Korea’s leading companies in a list of technologies including: Renewable energy,
LED, low carbon energy, green delivery system, IT convergence, telecom/broadcasting convergence,
robotics, new materials and nano convergence, biotechnology, software/digital content.
Built upon ubiquitous computing and green IT technology, U-cities are aimed at building secure,
convenient and environmentally friendly living spaces and improving the living standards. Pervasive and
seamless computing will also allow traditional government services to transform into e-government
service available anywhere and anytime to anyone. Green IT will also help U-cities to reduce carbon
emissions and to efficiently control and save the energy.
The Korean government considers the U-city projects as one of their top priorities for the country’s future
economic growth and it is ready to invest heavily in the relevant industries in selective cities. The
demand for future and innovative technologies will continue to be in strong demand and leading U.S.
technology companies are expected to benefit in the areas, including, cloud computing, smart grid,
renewable energy, radio frequency identification (RFID),ubiquitous sensory network (USN), wireless and
broadband convergence network (BcN), intelligent Traffic control systems, IT security solutions,
geographic information system (GIS), telematics, etc.
Every metropolitan city is undergoing at least one U-city related project and 29 smaller cities around the
country have ongoing U-city projects. Seeking cooperation from the private sector, the Ministry of Land,
Transport and Maritime Affairs (MLTM) plans to spend USD 400 million for five years from 2009. The city
of Seoul, alone, plans to spend a total of USD 700 million for transforming itself into a U-city, providing
ubiquitous services in healthcare, environment, transportation, business and government. Korea’s
second largest city, Busan, is expected to spend up to USD 800 million to install ubiquitous services in
cooperation with KT over the next 5 years.
Although U-city projects are selected as one of the core strategic growth engines for Korea’s future
economic development, the Korean government and private sectors will prioritize target cities carefully
due to the deficits in public housing projects and sluggish housing market situation in Korea. The total market value for the U-city projects ambitiously planned by major cities is estimated to reach over USD
USD60 billion by 2020. However, the plans are being re-evaluated by the Ministry of Land, Transport and
Maritime Affairs (MLTM) and Korea Land and Housing Corporation (LH) and some U-city projects are
being delayed, reduced, or even canceled and therefore, it Is essential to monitor the U-city investment
Hwangseong-Dongtan U-city was the first pilot U-city project completed in August 2008. Since 2005, LH
and KT Consortium has begun the construction of a new city offered with ubiquitous computing services.
The ubiquitous services (U-Services) in Hwangseong-Dongtan U-city includes, U-Traffic, monitoring and
offering the latest traffic conditions as well as arrival time of buses through mobile devices. Secondly, UFacility Management was implemented in managing water pipes under the city to detect leakage through sensors attached to the pipes. Lastly, U-Safety was offered to guarantee a safe urban environment by monitoring the city from the integrated service center through surveillance cameras installed on every corner of the city, which allowed the police and law enforcement agencies to react quickly and effectively to the dangers and crimes in the city.