SKT & Samsung Testing Mid-Band 5G

SK Telecom and Samsung are teaming up for sub-6GHz 5G testing in South Korea.

Samsung Corp. and SK Telecom (Nasdaq: SKM) say that they have tested connections at "over 1 Gbps and a low latency of 1.2 milliseconds" on a 3.5GHz link at Samsung's R&D center in Suwon. The test -- using Samsung equipment and software -- was based on the latest from the 3rd Generation Partnership Project (3GPP) 5G New Radio specification.

"SK Telecom has successfully acquired all the essential technologies necessary for 5G commercialization using 3.5GHz and 28GHz frequencies, made possible through joint efforts with Samsung," said Park Jin-hyo, SVP and head of the network technology R&D Center of SK Telecom in a statement.

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SKT has tested Samsung's 28GHz millimeter wave 5G system for more than a year. Changsoon Choi, a senior manager with SK Telecom's corporate R&D center, told Light Reading in March, however, that the operator would look into mid-band spectrum for 5G too, citing battery-life issues with 28GHz. (See SKT Airs 28GHz Concerns, Eyes Mid-Band 5G.)

The pair are saying that 3.5GHz connections will be used for wide-area applications, such as connected and autonomous cars. 28GHz, meanwhile, is expected to be used for the fast transmission of HD video over the air, likely using shorter-range connections. (See Big Questions Remain on Fixed Millimeter Wave for 5G.)

SKT expects to launch initial commercial 5G services in 2019.

— Dan Jones, Mobile Editor, Light Reading

TV Monitor 6/29/2017 | 2:24:54 PM
SK Telecom's spectrum position SK Telecom is not in a hurry to deploy 28 Ghz mmwave 5G like KT is because it has lots of LTE spectrum; SK Telecom is the only carrier currently doing 5CA(Samsung Galaxy S8 required) service which results in an aggregation of 135 Mhz for LTE. So they can afford to sit back and wait until 3.5 Ghz band opens up, which won't be for a quite while 28 Ghz band is available now.

KT doesn't have as much LTE specturm as SK Telecom does and needs to go 28 Ghz fast to keep up with an increasing data demand.

Additionally, 3.5 Ghz band is not available in Japan(Used for LTE) and in the US(CBRS).
DanJones 6/29/2017 | 11:32:35 AM
Is this the 5G model now? Is this 5G model now?

Sub6 for long-range coverage, mmWave for short-range hotzones? Starting to seem that way, isn't it.
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