Coronavirus: SK Telecom gives free assistance to police agency with location data analysis

Korean telco’s big data analysis will be deployed to mitigate Covid-19 spread in the Gyeongbuk region

SK Telecom has become the latest telco to work with government and police agencies to help civil authorities contain the spread of the Covid-19 coronavirus across their countries.

The leading Korean telco has revealed that until the Korean government declares the end of the coronavirus crisis, it will provide free of charge its Geovision big data-based real-time floating population analysis service to the police agency in the country’s Gyeongbuk region.

The collaboration between SK Telecom and the police comes as a result of their joint efforts to contain the spread of coronavirus. SK has been providing Geovision to the Gyeongsan police station in Gyeongbuk province since 9 March and will now begin providing the service to all police stations in the province.

The company is also in discussions with the Korean National Police Agency to expand the use of Geovision to all police stations across the nation.

The Geovision big data and spatial data analysis service analyses communication data generated between mobile phones and base stations in real time. It offers accurate location-based services and so is being widely used in areas such as trade area analysis and demographic statistics. It is said to be capable of analysing in real time the floating population of any area across the country every five minutes.

It is applied with SK’s self-developed big data analysis platform, named GIRAF (Geo Intelligence Rapid Analytics Framework), which can analyse up to 60TB of data every five minutes and deliver visualised data results. The service is also applied with pCell, a mobile network technology that calculates the number of people located within a targeted area by virtually partitioning each base station’s coverage area into lattices measuring 10x10 metres.

In its deployment with the Gyeongbuk police agency, Geovision be used to help contain the spread of coronavirus by pinpointing the areas with a dense floating population to enhance the efficiency of police patrol operations. For instance, upon detecting crowded places in real time, the police agencies can dispatch officers to the scene to implement measures to reduce people’s risk of catching the virus.

“We are doing what we can as an ICT company to help relieve the current situation with coronavirus,” said Chang Hong-sung, vice-president and head of the ad/data business division at SK Telecom. “We will continue to make our best efforts to contribute to enhancing people’s safety and happiness by using our cutting-edge ICT.”

Read more on Covid-19 and networking

The move by SK comes just as the Technology Agency of the Singaporean government announced that it was contributing the source codes of the protocol that powers the TraceTogther contact-tracing app to the open source community to help stem the coronavirus pandemic.

Meanwhile, the UK’s mobile network operators have revealed they have taken the unprecedented step of entering discussions with the UK government about making location data available to track people’s movements.

Read more on Telecoms networks and broadband communications

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