Alex Jinsung Choi, Executive Vice President and Head of ICT R&D Division, SK Telecom
The Korean market was a hotbed for early small cell action, and SK Telecom (Nasdaq: SKM) took a unique approach, deploying data-only LTE and WiFi small cells for indoor coverage at the same time as it rolled out LTE.
It was also the first operator to launch an LTE-Advanced network using carrier aggregation, and it sees LTE-Advanced small cells as the most crucial network element supporting the deployment. (See: SK Telecom Spends Big on Mobile Broadband and SK Telekom Preps Femto Service.)
Alex Jinsung Choi, EVP and Head of SK Telecom's ICT R&D Division, is responsible for developing the carrier's overall ICT vision, helping shape how the network would be built out and keeping it significantly ahead of the rest of the world. He oversaw the deployment of 50,000 femtocells, including 3,000 LTE femtocells. Now, he's leading efforts to develop and apply cell virtualization technologies, aka Super Cells, to enhance network capacity, minimize interference, and improve call quality by removing handover.
The work Choi and his team are doing at SK Telecom is something all the world's operators will want to keep an eye on as they'll look to the Korean operator for inspiration and best-practices.
"Although perhaps less appreciated in the West than it might be, SKT has been a technology pioneer and one of the most aggressive deployers of carrier small cells," says Rupert Baines, CMO of specialist advisory firm Real Wireless. "With extensive rollouts for 3G enterprise and metro coverage, one of the first volume LTE deployments and well-advanced plans for LTE-A, SKT is well worth watching."