Barcelona, Spain — South Korean telecommunications giant SK Telecom plans to launch its air taxi service in 2025 and expects to generate “substantial” revenue going forward, a senior executive told CNBC.
Last year, SK Telecom and US-based Joby Aviation partnered to develop air taxis for the Korean market. Joby Aviation is a manufacturer of so-called electric vertical take-off and landing aircraft. These electric flying vehicles are seen by proponents as a way to avoid traffic jams and transport people in dense cities.
The South Korean government aims to commercialize air taxis by 2025.
SK Telecom and Joby Aviation are looking to take advantage of government support. SK Telecom’s chief development officer Ha Min-yong said in his interview with CNBC on Sunday that the company’s Air His Taxi His service is ahead of expanding into other areas such as logistics. , said it will be commercially available “in mid-2025.”
“So if by 2025 they can prove that the quality of service with safety and security is acceptable to the general public, they will [the government] Operators will be able to expand their range of services to include logistics, tourism and medical-related services,” Ha told CNBC at the Mobile World Congress event in Barcelona, Spain.
SK Telecom is looking to expand its business beyond traditional mobile carriers, setting its sights on new areas such as artificial intelligence and air taxis. These aircraft will have to connect to and operate his next-generation 5G network and eventually fly autonomously. That’s where SK Telecom’s expertise comes into play.
SK Telecom will partner with US company Joby Aviation to bring air taxis to South Korea in 2025. SK Telecom aims to diversify its business model into new areas such as urban air mobility and artificial intelligence.
Arjun Karpal | CNBC
While this form of transportation is in its early stages, consultancy Roland Berger predicts that there will be nearly 160,000 unmanned electric drones in use worldwide by 2050. The company says these drones will generate nearly $90 billion in annual revenue.
SK Telecom wants a piece of the pie, and Ha said if all goes well, air taxis could become a big revenue generator for the company, but not “soon.” is not.
“So at least five of the following [to] For seven years, we have to ensure that the services we intend to provide are sufficiently safe for society and the community.
“We believe it will generate considerable revenue if it is accepted by the community and society.”