SK Telecom conducts 5G trials using 3.5GHz technology by Samsung and Nokia

South Korean telecommunications giant SK Telecom has conducted 5G trials using 3.5GHz technology by Samsung and Nokia.

With 29.83 million mobile customers, SK Telecom is the largest operator in the nation. Looking to continue its lead, the operator is hoping to get the jump on its competitors when it comes to 5G deployment.

“With the successful demonstration of 5G communications using the 3.5GHz spectrum, SK Telecom has secured all key technologies for building commercial 5G networks using 3.5GHz and 28GHz frequency bands,” said Park Jin-hyo, Senior Vice President and Head of Network R&D Center of SK Telecom. “We will maintain our leadership in 5G by enhancing our technologies for both above-6GHz and below-6GHz frequencies, while playing an active role in the standardization and commercialization of 5G technologies.”

Samsung was tasked by SK Telecom to develop a 3.5GHz 5G network – comprised of 5G virtualized core, virtualized RAN, Distributed Unit (baseband unit and radio unit) and test device – based on the 3GPP 5G New Radio (5G NR) standards elements.

SK Telecom and Samsung completed their trial at Samsung Electronics’ R&D Center in Suwon, Korea.

“We achieved another milestone today, taking 5G in to the sub-6GHz spectrum for use cases and applications requiring wider area network coverage. The below 6GHz spectrum has been identified by the industry as ideal for enabling 5G services such as autonomous/connected car that require a wider area network,” said Park Dong-soo, Executive Vice President and Head of Global Sales & Marketing Team in Networks Business, Samsung Electronics. “Today’s trial with SK Telecom serves as a significant development in our collaborative efforts to accelerate 5G commercialization.”

In a separate trial, SK Telecom has partnered with Nokia to co-develop 5G base station equipment and test device for the 3.5GHz spectrum and successfully realized Gbps-level throughput during a field trial held near its Bundang Office Building through the application of carrier aggregation techniques to expand bandwidth.

“We are pleased to collaborate with SK Telecom on their journey towards 5G deployment. The 5G technology will enable a number of use cases such as critical machine-type communications, Internet of Things (IoT), Augmented Reality and Virtual Reality. This demonstration on 3.5GHz band is a crucial step in the development of 5G ecosystem as it will enable increased data speeds and comprehensive coverage. Nokia is committed in future technology advancement and our partnership with SK Telecom will accelerate the development of the global 5G ecosystem," said Andrew Cope, head of Nokia Korea.

Next on the agenda for SK Telecom and their partnership with Samsung and Nokia is to further enhance transmission speeds, expand coverage, and improve communication stability while on the move.

What are your thoughts about SK Telecom’s 5G trials using 3.5GHz spectrum? Let us know in the comments.

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