SK Telecom has highlighted its commitment to super-fast mobile broadband innovation, and its desire to set the 5G agenda, by trialing a radio access network (RAN) technology it is calling "Elastic Cell."
The South Korean operator, which has been working with Ericsson AB (Nasdaq: ERIC) on the development, claims its trial of the technology, also known as "flexible cell," is a world first. The Elastic Cell capabilities enable mobile devices to connect with multiple radio cells simultaneously, so enhancing data throughput by up to 50% compared with current 4G LTE limits. (See picture below).
In a press release issued early Monday, SK Telecom (Nasdaq: SKM) explained how Elastic Cell works:
- A serving cell receives information on nearby cells from a handset and selects a group of cells that can improve the network quality in the cell-edge for transmission while temporarily turning off the cells that cause interferences. As a result, Elastic Cell can ensure more seamless data transmission by preventing possible quality degradation that can occur when the handset moves across cell boundaries.
The operator also noted in the media announcement that it expects to deploy the technology on a commercial basis in 2016 and that it regards Elastic Cell as a "key enabler for 5G." (See South Korea Proclaims $1.5B 5G Push and Ready or Not, Here Comes 5G.)
SK Telecom and Ericsson announced in early July that they are collaborating on 5G developments. (See SK Telecom, Ericsson Collaborate on 5G Research.)
And for more on the evolution towards 5G, see our dedicated 5G news channel.
— Ray Le Maistre, , Editor-in-Chief, Light Reading