Verizon, SK Telecom Extend 5G Partnership

Telco giants Verizon and SK Telecom have announced another 5G tie-up as they look to begin trials of more advanced mobile technologies in the next few months.

The operators say they have signed a memorandum of understanding to collaborate on turning 5G technical specifications into global standards. The tie-up will also see them carry out a number of joint studies to identify use cases and applications for 5G technology.

Both operators have taken a leading role in the emerging 5G ecosystem amid industry expectations that the first commercial services based on a 5G standard will appear in 2020.

Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE: VZ), which operates the largest mobile network in the US, plans to launch a fixed wireless 5G pilot next year, while South Korea's SK Telecom (Nasdaq: SKM) is similarly aiming for a pre-commercial 5G deployment in 2017. (See Verizon Cleared for Take-Off on Fixed 5G and SK Telecom Targets Pre-Commercial 5G Deployment In 2017.)

The latest partnership appears to build on the formation of the 5G Open Trial Specification Alliance at this year's Mobile World Congress, although it does not involve Japan's NTT DoCoMo Inc. (NYSE: DCM) or South Korea's KT Corp. , the other members of that group.

In a statement on their latest alliance, Verizon and SK Telecom said they have already held a "technical coordination/cooperation meeting" to share ideas in a number of 5G-related areas, including the Internet of Things (IoT) and infrastructure virtualization.

As a result of that meeting, the companies have agreed to work more closely together within the Open Compute Project, an industry initiative whose goal is to ensure hardware technologies can better support growing demands.

Verizon and SK Telecom will also combine their efforts in another related initiative called Mobile Central Office Re-architected as a Datacenter (M-CORD).

M-CORD seeks to build on the better-known CORD project by taking advantage of developments in mobile edge computing and the virtualization of mobile infrastructure components.

Want to know more about 5G? Check out our dedicated 5G content channel
here on Light Reading.

The need for central offices that can function as datacenters is likely to grow in the 5G era, as operators look to bring a virtualized 5G core much closer to their customers.

Germany's Deutsche Telekom AG (NYSE: DT), for example, is currently retiring central offices as part of its pan-European network project, but the operator has acknowledged it will need to open new facilities as it begins to roll out 5G. (See DT's Pan-Net Picks Up the Pace.)

Verizon and SK Telecom are among a number of multinational operators prioritizing 5G but have arguably been more aggressive in this area than most of their rivals. (See AT&T Lights Fire Under 5G, Plans 2016 Trials, TeliaSonera, Ericsson Join 5G Early Movers, Russia's MTS to Trial 5G in 2018 and DoCoMo & EE Share 5G Visions.)

The early successful testing of pre-5G technologies should help to speed up the development of a 5G standard, giving operators the opportunity to launch a new range of services around the 2020 timeframe.

Service provider executives are particularly keen on taking advantage of a technique called network slicing, enabling a single mobile infrastructure to cater to a variety of different needs, from high-definition video streaming to low-latency connectivity for machines. (See 5G Calls for EU Rethink on Net Neutrality, Net Neutrality Rules Threaten 5G, NFV – Telenor and 5G: Hurdles on the Track.)

Advances in 5G, including the rollout of software and virtualization technologies, should allow operators to realize these network-slicing ambitions.

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

TV Monitor 8/17/2016 | 10:58:50 AM
Re: Verizon 5G technology terrx

FBMC is back, as the limitation of OFDM has been reached. Qualcomm and Ericsson refuse to accept this and is sticking with OFDM, so they will be left behind.

It is of no wonder that Qualcomm and Ericsson are pushing below 6 Ghz 5G hard.

"The first real 5G specification will be produced in 3GPP."

Samsung's game plan is to demonstrate that Samsung 5G test networks deployed in Pyeongchang works as advertised before world press, then ram its 5G standard through 3GPP 8 months later the Olympics citing a lack of a credibly demostrated mmwave alternatives and the lack of time before the 2020 official launching.

KT says there are a whole bunch of telcos eyeing their Pyeongchang demonstration, ready to jump in and adopt Samsung 5G if it works as advertised.
terrx 8/17/2016 | 2:35:59 AM
Re: Verizon 5G technology TV Monitor,

Actually, FBMC had been discussed in 3GPP when the candidate technologies were discussed for LTE in 2005. At that time, FBMC was abandoned. FMBC can provide better out-of-band emission suppression. But it brings more complexity compared to CP-OFDM. In 3GPP, it seems that CP-OFDM is still dominant.


Additionally, according to ITU's definition for 5G, the current protocol, like V5G, cannot meet the requirements. The first real 5G specification will be produced in 3GPP.
TV Monitor 8/17/2016 | 12:06:04 AM
Re: Verizon 5G technology terrx

Anyhow, Verizon listed CP-OFDM for this fixed 5G testbed, but the final 5G standard won't have CP-OFDM. 

Here is a research paper on pro and con of three 5G modulation candidates. 


The reason Samsung 5G chose FBMC is simple, this is the modulation most suited for mobile reception.

Those hoping to push OFDM to limit(Qualcomm, Huawei and Ericsson) in 5G era won't get very far.
TV Monitor 8/16/2016 | 11:08:01 PM
Re: Verizon 5G technology terrx

"So not sure this V5G protocol is similar as the one promoted by Samsung."


"In addition to its new partnership with SK Telecom, Verizon has also said its collaborating with fellow Korean telecommunications operator KT Corporation on a "harmonized" 5G specification."

Both KT and SK are deploying Samsung 5G test networks by summer of 2017 and will showcase Samsung 5G at Pyeongchang Olympics. So you go figure what the "harmonized" 5G spec would look like.

V5G as described is similar to Samsung 5G in spectrum(28 Ghz) channel configuration(100 Mhz x 8 channels), and TDD mode. Samsung 5G uses a different modulation(QAM-FBMC instead of CP-OFDM) and adds user handset tracking at highway speed. Samsung 5G is fully mobile.
terrx 8/16/2016 | 9:25:46 PM
Verizon 5G technology Verizon is using V5G protocol for its 5G network building which was developed mainly by Intel. So not sure this V5G protocol is similar as the one promoted by Samsung.
TV Monitor 8/16/2016 | 6:47:22 PM
Re: The most important part of that Verizon-SK statement mhui0

Yes, 28 Ghz IS practical for smartphones, for both uplinks and downlinks. Active beam steering to the accuracy of an inch is why Samsung's mmwave 5G works while Nokia and Ericsson's don't in real world.

While downlinks can be upto 2 km, uplink is shorter, Samsung won't say how much shorter, and that portion will have to be supplimented by LTE.
mhui0 8/16/2016 | 6:11:01 PM
Re: The most important part of that Verizon-SK statement But is using 26GHz carrier practical for mobile handsets?

I suppose you must have beam steering for uplink, not just for downlink.

But even then, can it ever replace the low GHz or high 100's MHz carriers in a dense urban environment?
TV Monitor 8/16/2016 | 1:38:41 PM
Re: The most important part of that Verizon-SK statement mhui0

Huawei basestations are banned in the US. Additionally, Huawei 5G is a Sub-6 Ghz 5G, for which free spectrum simply doesn't exist in the US. Sprint's Masayoshi Son is hell bent on finding a legal loophole to deploy Huawei 5G basestations in the US, but T-Mobile has no reason to do this because T-Mobile has no large spectrum holdings below 6 Ghz unlike Sprint.

T-Mobile is a 100% owned US subsidiary of Deutsche Telekom, so it has a reason to keep its network the same as Deutsche Telekom, and this is why T-Mobile works with Ericsson and Nokia and not Samsung.

This is why Verizon working with Samsung is so eager to deploy 5G early while T-Mobile working with Ericsson/Nokia remains cool on 5G deployment, because Samsung 5G is becoming mature for Verizon while Ericsson/Nokia are still in early "lab stage" with their mmwave 5G efforts.
mhui0 8/16/2016 | 1:23:51 PM
Re: The most important part of that Verizon-SK statement Is there any chance T-Mobile will dump Nokia and Ericsson, and switch to Samsung or Hauwei for 5G basestations?
TV Monitor 8/16/2016 | 1:04:47 PM
The most important part of that Verizon-SK statement "The operators say they have signed a memorandum of understanding to collaborate on turning 5G technical specifications into global standards"

In other word, Verizon and SK agreed to push Samsung 5G which will have a live field trial at Pyeongchang in 2018 as the global 5G standard at 3GPP in the fall of same year.

This gives Verizon a huge advantage over rivals AT&T and T-Mobile who are toying with wrong 5G technology from Nokia and Ericsson, and will give Verizon a 2~3 year lead in tech deployment. 
Sign In