SK Telecom, Nokia claim world’s first commercialised eICIC

SK Telecom and Nokia Networks have announced what they called the world’s first commercialised Enhanced Inter-Cell Interference Coordination (eICIC) technology, which is designed to enhance LTE-A network quality.

According to SK Telecom, eICIC controls signal interference between macro and micro base stations thus improving the quality of an LTE-A network. The South Korean telco said it expects to be able to reduce inter-call interference by 15% in congested areas with the eICIC deployment.

The operator has so far implemented the technology to its LTE-A network in Gwangju city, and said it will roll it out nationwide by the first half of 2016. “SK Telecom’s partnership with Nokia has led to the achievement of the world’s first commercialisation of eICIC, a powerful technology that will further improve our customer experience,” Park Jin-hyo, SVP and Head of Network Technology R&D Center at SK Telecom said.

“We will continue to develop and commercialise new and innovative technologies to solidify our position as the leader in the era of the next-generation network.”

The two partners claimed eICIC will be an essential technology in the supposedly heterogeneous networks 5G era, and said this launch takes them a step closer to the realisation of the next generation.

“Together with SK Telecom, we have achieved an important milestone in advancing the mobile network through the development of eICIC,” Tero Peltola, VP of FDD LTE at Nokia said. “By using eICIC, SK Telecom’s customers can utilise their existing LTE devices with no need to buy new smartphones.”

It seems SK Telecom and Nokia are keen to push forward with new technologies they see as key to the future 5G. The two recently announced an agreement under which they plan to demonstrate 5G by 2018, in time for the winter Olympics held in South Korea in Peyongchang that year.

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