SKT steps up efforts to launch 5G earlier

01 Nov 2017

SK Telecom has accelerated its efforts to deploy 5G services earlier than expected with the demonstration of key 5G enabling technologies in a real-world setting.

The operator has implemented a 5G relay repeater operating in the 28-GHz and 3.5-GHz 5G-candidate frequency bands at its Bundang office. SK Telecom has deployed a 5G trial network at this office.

Using the in-building 5G relay repeater, SK Telecom was able to achieve speeds of up to 4Gbps.

While 28-GHz spectrum has a higher potential capacity than lower-band spectrum radio waves in this band are more likely to move in straight lines, meaning they are blocked more sharply by obstacles and have significantly shorter radio coverage. This effect is particularly strong inside buildings where areas are divided by walls.

The 5G repeater is aimed at improving the quality of indoor service, a key prerequisite for the development of a 5G service.

SK Telecom has also worked with SK Telesys to develop an in-building relay repeater capable of delivering 5G radio signals over 3.5-GHz using a building's existing mobile infrastructure. The station uses the existing antennas for 2G, 3G and LTE services, reducing the time needed to build an indoor network for 5G.

SK Telecom has also demonstrated a 360-degree virtual reality video call using a tablet size device over the trial 5G network between SK Telecom's Seoul headquarters and an area nearby.

The demonstration was performed in the CBD and used expected 5G technologies including beamforming as well as network virtualization.

“The success of 5G wireless communications in the real-world environment will give us momentum to accelerate our effort to roll out 5G service earlier than expected,” SK Telecom SVP and head of network technology R&D Park Jin-hyo said.

“We at SK Telecom will continue to develop our capabilities to rollout 5G networks in order to offer differentiated services to our customers.”

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