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SK Telecom and Ericsson demonstrate potential 5G tech

A live demonstration

South Korea was the inevitable location for the first demonstration of a new ‘Elastic Cell’ technology that allows multiple cells to serve a handset simultaneously, thus improving performance at the cell boundary. This technology is likely to contribute to the eventual 5G standard.

The demonstration was the result of collaboration between South Korean operator SK Telecom and infrastructure vendor Ericsson. It involves two-way communication between the handset and its serving cell in order to select other nearby cells that can improve network quality at the cell edge, while also silencing superfluous cells that can cause interference.

The two companies claim Elastic Cell, compared to existing LTE technology, can improve the data transfer rate by up to 50% at the cell boundary. They aim to commercialize the technology as soon as 2016. SK Telecom’s stated aim is to provide 1Gbps data throughput anywhere, which is also a cornerstone for other 5G research groups, including the collaboration with Europe announced a month ago.

“SK Telecom, together with Ericsson, succeeded in the world’s first demonstration of Elastic Cell which is expected to become a prerequisite for the next generation network,” Park Jin-hyo, SVP and head of the Network Technology R&D Center at SK Telecom. “We will continue to take the lead in developing a variety of technologies necessary to evolve cells.”

Thomas Norén, VP and head of product area radio at Ericsson said “With this new technology SK Telecom takes an important step toward the next generation of mobile networks. Consumers will benefit from the improved seamless experience wherever they are in the cell and while on the move. SK Telecom has been a leader in technology development of 4G and beyond and we are proud to support the developments.”

Elastic Cell allows handsets to be served by multiple cells at the same time

Elastic Cell allows handsets to be served by multiple cells at the same time

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One comment

  1. Pete B 23/07/2014 @ 1:06 am

    Sounds a little too jazzy… what impact does this have on bandwidth management over the backhaul network (particularly over the last mile) and what about the new energy efficiency measures that are being considered for mobile optimization.

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