The operator will begin 5G commercial deployments in 2018 using the 3GPP Release 15 specifications for non-standalone architecture.
The non-standalone configuration uses the legacy LTE network for mobility control, while transmitting gigabit-speed data traffic through 4G and 5G networks.
Samsung and SK Telecom have been collaborating on 5G development since 2014, and last year achieved a world first successful interworking of LTE and 5G new radio utilizing both 3.5-GHz and 28-GHz spectrum.
In July this year, Samsung unveiled its line of 5G new radio equipment supporting the 3.5-GHz spectrum to be used for Korean operators' 5G rollouts.
“SK Telecom and Samsung have been working closely to provide the highest quality user experience for consumers,” SK Telecom EVP of ICT and Infra Center JongRyeol Kang said.
“Today, 5G is already a reality for SK Telecom as we move forward to create the best mobile 5G network and offer brand new experiences to our customers.”