SK Telecom develops new relay technologies for 5G

05 Dec 2017

SK Telecom has developed new relay technologies and applied new relay technologies for 5G networks using ultra-high frequency bands after its six-month long collaboration with local partners. The mobile giant said this collaboration is a big step towards the creation of a 5G ecosystem in Korea.

The partners, including High Gain Antenna and SK Telecom’s subsidiary SK Telesys, have been deeply involved in culminating the development of new relay technologies which will enable network operators to guarantee the stability of communications services even in the ultra-high frequency bands of 5G networks. These technologies have successfully been applied to SK Telecom's trial network, the operator said in a statement.

“In 5G networks, relay technology will help extend radio range by amplifying wireless signals between base stations and devices. It will enable network operators to cover radio shadow areas and offer wide coverage for 5G services,” the operator said.

“In the 28-GHz band, a candidate for 5G, radio waves are more likely to move in straight lines and more unlikely to circumvent obstacles due to the nature of ultra-high frequencies. Therefore, relay technology is critical to the seamless delivery of 5G services.”

SK Telecom classifies the new 5G relay technologies jointly developed by SK Telecom and local partners into three techniques: the flat framing, in which radio waves are reflected at right angles towards both sides; the convex mirroring, in which radio waves are reflected outwards as if they hit a convex mirror; and the multi-beam generation and amplification, in which a multiple number of radio waves are aggregated and amplified.

The operator said it chose to apply the multi-beam generation & amplification technique to its 5G trial network in Gangnam, Seoul to achieve three times wider coverage than that of a single beam. While the existing single beam relay repeater covers 70 meters in diagram, SK Telecom is now able to extend the coverage to 200 meters in diagram with a new relay repeater implementing this technique.

The company said it has already proven wider coverage in its 5G trial networks in Gangnam and Bundang by applying a new relay repeater which can cover both indoor and outdoor environments.

Among the partners engaged in the collaboration, High Gain Antenna developed technologies to implement the flat framing and convex mirroring techniques, and SK Telesys successfully realized the concept of multi-beam generation & amplification, the operator said.

SK Telecom has worked with the two vendors for the past six months and demonstrated these techniques in its 5G trial networks in the company’s Bundang office and two dense urban areas in Seoul.

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