SK Telecom Targets Pre-Commercial 5G Deployment In 2017

SK Telecom, one of the mobile operators at the forefront of 5G trials, is preparing further pilots for later this year and a pre-commercial 5G deployment of the next-generation wireless technology in 2017.

A spokeswoman for SK Telecom (Nasdaq: SKM) told Light Reading late Monday that it plans to bring together an "end-to-end 5G pilot system in an outdoor environment" using the "key enabling technologies" it has identified for 5G. These include: millimeter wave (mmWave) high-frequency radio connectivity for devices and networks; LTE, 5G, and WiGig (60GHz) interworking; virtualized RAN; network slicing; and a distributed core network.

"Our target by the end of 2016 is to interconnect the previously-mentioned key enabling technologies together to form an end-to-end 5G pilot system in an outdoor environment," said a spokeswoman in an email response to Light Reading questions. "The main purpose of this end-to-end 5G pilot system is initial assessment of performance."

The operator is "currently currently planning to expand the pilot service area, where the 5G test system is established."

Then, as the 5G miniaturization process continues in 2017, the South Korean operator expects that test devices will get much smaller and more user friendly. "By the end of 2017, SK Telecom plans to perform a large scale pre-commercial 5G deployment for more detailed assessment of the overall 5G system," the spokeswoman stated.

All of this builds on the work that SKT has already done with its partners this year: At the end of March, the operator said it had completed a 5G 28GHz radio test outdoors. (See SK Telecom Claims 5G Trial Milestone.)

SKT is working with Ericsson AB (Nasdaq: ERIC), Intel Corp. (Nasdaq: INTC), Nokia Corp. (NYSE: NOK), Samsung Corp. , Qualcomm Inc. (Nasdaq: QCOM) and "a few others" on 5G technology. (See SKT, Nokia Hit 19.1 Gbit/s in 5G Test.)

— Dan Jones, Mobile Editor, Light Reading

TV Monitor 7/19/2016 | 11:15:12 AM
Re: Operator momentum in key areas [email protected]

"Maybe operators such as SKT will be using a combination of new capabilities that are part of 5G some time before the end of this decade"

5G era tech in the backend, like SDN, network slicing, LoRa IoT network.  No real 5G RAN until the fall of 2020.

"I wonder which service provider will be the first to use 5G in a public marketing capaign?"

KT or China Mobile.

SK(Does not stand for South Korea, rather for Clear Mirror) Telecom is 6 months behind KT, a governmet owned carrier(Consider it the public option of wireless carriers), and was excluded from Samsung/Pyeongchang/Whatever 5G standard developing process, and is lashing out at the government for that.

The first SK 28 Ghz 5G network isn't scheduled to go online until 4Q2018, when KT's 28 Ghz 5G network will be ready for business at Pyeongchang during the Pyeongchang Olympics to be held in February of 2018.

No one really knows what LG U+ is upto, it was thought that LG U+ was interested in doing a Chinese style 5G in 2.6 Ghz with equipment from Huawei, but SK Telecom just bought licenses surrounding LG U+'s 2.6 Ghz band and the 2.6 Ghz band is fraqmented into 3, so that's out of question now.
[email protected] 7/19/2016 | 10:29:06 AM
Re: Operator momentum in key areas There are some places around London where you can't even get 2G.... (and before anyone in London pipes up, try holding on to a voice call between Clapham Junction and Earlsfield...)

Those are the exceptions, of course. France is a much more rural country too and that will always be the case that the new mobile technologies will be launched and then sometimes be available only in the urban areas - I am sure there will be parts of developed countries that still won't even have 4G by 2020, let alone be seeing any 5G action.
JaxTeller 7/19/2016 | 9:52:44 AM
Re: Operator momentum in key areas Read an article talks about 5G in 2017 and us in most part of Franc ewe have only 3G...
[email protected] 7/19/2016 | 8:02:45 AM
Operator momentum in key areas Now more than ever, it seems, operator momentum and focus appears to be accelerating some of the R&D timescales in some areas and not just in wireless/mobile.

Maybe operators such as SKT will be using a combination of new capabilities that are part of 5G some time before the end of this decade and 2020 might actualy become the year when new services might hit the mass consumer and enterprise market.

I wonder which service provider will be the first to use 5G in a public marketing capaign? 
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