DT, SK Telecom Plot 'Global' 5G Trials

Taking 5G one-upmanship into a new dimension, partners Deutsche Telekom and SK Telecom are plotting the launch of what they claim will be the world's first "transcontinental" 5G trial network.

The aim is to ensure that certain types of 5G service can benefit from "global reach." Systems deployed in Germany and South Korea are to incorporate technologies such as SDN, NFV and network slicing during the trials. (See DT, SK Telecom to Trial 'Transcontinental' 5G Network .)

The operators, which tied the 5G knot at this year's Mobile World Congress, gave no indication of when the trial network would be operational. Nor was there any mention in their joint announcement of air-interface technologies or the frequency bands they would use.

The update came in the same week that SK Telecom flagged new 5G moves with US operator Verizon, with which it also struck a 5G partnership at Mobile World Congress. (See Verizon, SK Telecom Extend 5G Partnership.)

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Both Verizon and SK Telecom have previously announced ambitious targets for the launch of 5G services, while Deutsche Telekom has emphasized the need for European players to take a leadership role in the development of 5G technology. (See Verizon Cleared for Take-Off on Fixed 5G, SK Telecom Targets Pre-Commercial 5G Deployment In 2017 and Deutsche Telekom Says Europe Risks Being 5G Flop.)

Even so, collaboration has quickly become the name of the 5G game. Deutsche Telekom and SK Telecom say they are now working with companies including AT&T, Huawei, Nokia, Ericsson, Qualcomm and Samsung on 5G standardization.

The industry currently expects a 5G standard to appear in 2020.

— Iain Morris, Circle me on Google+ Follow me on TwitterVisit my LinkedIn profile, News Editor, Light Reading

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