While the South Korean Government leverages its host status for the 2018 Winter Olympics as a showcase for 5G technology, SK Telecom is pressing ahead with critical 5G demonstrations this year.
“SK Telekom will not simply wait to demonstrate 5G during the sporting event,” says Sungho Jo, the director of the company’s 5G Technology Lab and R&D Center.
“Apart from what the government plans to do, SK Telecom will develop and demonstrate the technology to facilitate 5G commercialization,” he said. “The first phase of the 3GPP 5G specification, named NSA or non-standalone, will be ready by the end of 2017.”
In February this year, SK Telecom joined with Deutsche Telekom and Ericsson to demonstrate federated network slicing for 5G roaming.
Also in February, the company successfully tested its 5G network on a connected car running at 170 kilometers per hour, reaching data transfer speeds of 3.6Gbps.
The demonstration was a collaboration with BMW and Ericsson. It featured the 5G network for the car as a virtual layer on top of SK Telecom’s ATSCALE mobile network architecture.
As a foundation member of the 5G Automotive Association, it’s in the area of connected cars that SK Telecom has emerged as a 5G leader.
“SK Telecom also participates in various V2X vehicle activities globally, including Next Generation Mobile Networks (NGMN) V2X for consensus on connect car technologies and standards,” said SK’s Jo. SK Telecom will continue to find and assess key enabling technologies and enhance their performance.”
Jo said SK Telecom’s network expertise was critical to the emergence of autonomous vehicles.
“Autonomous driving is a mix of complicated technologies, including AI and video recognition,” he said. “Before the realization of autonomous vehicles there are a number of intermediate steps. The 5G connected car is one of the intermediate steps.”