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SK Telecom jumps the gun with 5G car

They love a connected car over in Korea and operator SK Telecom is so keen it has already pimped one up with a 5G connection.

The more substantial achievement was the deployment of what SKT claims is the world’s largest millimetre-wave trial network in partnership with Ericsson. Specifically it used the 28 GHz band over a network covering 240,000 square meters at a BMW driving centre. The network supports peak data rates of 20 Gbps.

The car is called T5, although we would’ve preferred KITT. As well as the trial 5G network the car also used vehicle-to-everything (V2X) technologies, which seems to be a handy catch-all name to describe ultra-low latency wireless communications with, well, everything else. It did clever things like proving assisted driving and remote monitoring by streaming 4K video from in-built cameras while driving.

“5G will offer much more than just faster data speeds,” said Alex Jinsung Choi, CTO of SK Telecom. “It will serve as a true enabler for a whole new variety of powerful services that deliver unprecedented value to customers. Today’s demonstration of 5G-based connected car technologies marks the very first step towards achieving fully autonomous driving in the upcoming era of 5G.”

This news comes hot on the heels of the announcement that fellow Korean tech giant Samsung is buying Harman to strengthen its position in the connected car market. Inevitably SKT is going to deploy a bunch more 5G trial networks in the coming months and years in partnership with the likes of Samsung, Ericsson and Nokia.

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