SK Telecom, Nokia expand 5G R&D partnership

Dylan Bushell-Embling
telecomasia.net

SK Telecom has expanded its 5G collaboration with Nokia to cover the development of core 5G network technologies.

The companies have revealed plans to collaborate on technologies including gigabit-level data transmission equipment and cloud-based virtual base stations.

As part of the co-operation, the companies will establish a 5G testbed in SK Telecom's Corporate R&D Center to develop and test centimeter and millimeter wave 5G technologies using high-frequency (6GHz or higher) spectrum.

This technology is being considered for inclusion into the core 5G standards to be set by the 3rd Generation Partnership Project (3GPP).

SK Telecom and Nokia have set a target of being able to demonstrate 5G technology in 2018 and commercialize it in 2020.

“By joining hands with Nokia, we expect to accelerate our speeds toward the development of core 5G technologies,” said Choi Jin-sung, SK Telecom's EVP and Head of Corporate R&D Center.

“Envisioning an era where all things and people are organically connected, SK Telecom will continue to bring innovative changes to the mobile network structure.”

The two companies signed their first memorandum of understanding covering collaboration on 5G R&D in June last year. The deal covered technologies including virtualization and next-generation cloud network management.

As a result of this collaboration, the companies developed the first base station virtualization technology, Cloud vRAN, in November.

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