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SK Telecom to launch trial 5G service in 2017

businessman holding in hand 5G, technology background

Korean telco SK Telecom has announced that it will launch a trial 5G service in South Korea in 2017, as part of a programme of research and development taking place in its R&D centre in Bundang, Korea. Meanwhile Spanish telco Telefonica has unveiled its own 5G proving ground.

The 2017 date for SK Telecom’s trial 5G service was disclosed as the telco unveiled details of its newly opened ‘5G Playground’ within SK Telecom’s Bundang facility.

The 5G Playground consists of Testbed hosting all the latest most advanced testing equipment. A Virtual Experience Room will showcase and test the feasibility of futuristic services and devices while a planned ‘T Open Lab’ will explore options to enrich the 5G ecosystem through contributions form new technical partnerships.

Partners include Nokia, Ericsson, Samsung Electronics, Intel and Rohde & Schwarz.

Nokia is helping the telco to develop a centimetre-wave (cmWave) 5G radio system. The partners say a new milestone in 5G standardisation was reached recently with a 19.1Gbps transmission speed over the air using 256 quadrature amplitude modulation (QAM), 8×8 MIMO transmission and 400 MHz of bandwidth.

Ericsson and SK Telecom’s breakthrough developments in 5G network slicing was reported in Telecoms.com in October. Meanwhile work with Samsung has yielded new 3D beamforming techniques which overcome unfavourable channel conditions.

SK Telecom and Intel are jointly developing Anchor-Booster Cell technology, while Rohde & Schwartz is helping to design and verify various types of new 5G air interfaces and developing new waveforms. Work in the Virtual Experience Room is exploring the possibilities for Augmented Reality (AR) technologies and services. In one trial, Project Tango, AR services are being used to try to accurately learn 3D space. Sony has showcased a 5G-based 4K live production system that transmits ultra-high definition video.

“The 5G Playground holds the power to turn our imaginations into reality,” said Alex Jinsung Choi, Chief Technology Officer of SK Telecom.

Meanwhile, in Madrid, Telefónica and IMDEA Networks have created the first laboratory of 5G excellence in Spain. The centre, 5TONIC, was developed with the purpose of creating an open ecosystem for innovation and investigation to both further 5G technology and nurture entrepreneurs.

Tags:
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  • LTE Advanced Pro and Gigabit LTE: The Path to 5G

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