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SK Telecom, Intel collaborate on 5G chipsets and MIMO R&D

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Over at MWC Shanghai this week, Korean operator SK Telecom has announced its intentions to collaborate with Intel on the development of 5G radio access tech.

According to the telco, the combined agreement will facilitate the development and performance verification of 5G, specifically looking at 5G chipset and device requirements, as well as Massive MIMO and Anchor-Booster Cells. SKT pointed out it’s important to ensure that new modem devices are not only capable of receiving a 5G signal, but that they’re also backwards-compatible with 3G and LTE.

Anchor-Boosting Cells will likely form part of the 5G RAN by boosting signal between macro and small cells, and SKT is looking to utilise Mobile Edge Computing to openly and dynamically allocate resources by eliminating the need to access the backhaul and network core for delivering content. With it, the operator claims, it will be able to enhance 5G by improving QoE and develop new business models.

While targeting increased base station capacity for the transmission and receiving of data, Intel and SKT also will be looking at further developing Massive MIMO antenna tech. Speaking on the partnership, SKT’s CTO Alex Jinsung Choi reckons it’s integral to the future of 5G.

“This new MOU deepens the cooperation between SK Telecom and Intel to develop and secure key enabling technologies for 5G,” he said. “We will continue to continue to make efforts to provide customers with unprecedented value through innovative 5G services.”

Intel concurred with the consensus that 5G will be a big deal. “We believe 5G will deliver dramatically better device connectivity and enable new and better user experiences to support a variety of connected devices in the future,” said Intel general manager of next gen and standards. “Intel and SK Telecom share a commitment to the success of 5G networks and have the experience and resources needed to solve the technology challenges involved with advancing 5G networks to commercial deployments.

Meanwhile, the operator has also confirmed it will be working with Accedian Networks to utilise SDN and big data analytics to automatically optimise its LTE network in real-time without the need for human interaction. Choi Seung-won, head of network solution office for SK, said the rollout is seen as a significant step towards its plans for 5G network development.

“At SK Telecom, best-possible quality of customer service and experience is at the heart of our reputation and our business,” he said. “Partnering with Accedian helps us ensure the highest levels of QoS and QoE, which is particularly important as we continue to extend our network towards 5G, and to expand coverage with small cells, making the need for 24×7 end to end network visibility critical.”

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