SK Telecom and Samsung launch LTE-R in Korea

Next-generation train-to-train wireless communications service LTE-R is being given the chance to prove itself in South Korea thanks to a collaboration between SK Telecom and Samsung.

The new LTE-R service was launched along the 41km-long Busan Metro line 1 that covers 40 stations. It replaced an existing analogue wireless system for the Busan Transportation Corporation (BTS), indicating how overdue the new technology is.

LTE-R needs to combine capacity, security, reliability and low-latency – many of the characteristics that will be expected of 5G. The mission-critical aspect of the technology concerns communication between trains and other pieces of critical infrastructure but it’s likely to also be used for in-train infotainment and real-time transmission of video during emergencies.

“Reliability and stability are critical because they are directly tied to public safety,” said Jinsoo Jeong, Head of Domestic Business Marketing in Networks Business, Samsung Electronics.  “Today’s launch of the Samsung LTE-R solution with BTS and SK Telecom is a huge milestone for the industry. As a leading LTE-R solution provider, we enable fast and reliable communication on high-speed trains capable of speeds as high as 300km/h, which is expected to be started early next year.”

Amid all the talk about connected/autonomous cars, trains have received little mention. But given the considerably fewer number of variables a train needs to deal with than a car, rail would appear to be an obvious use-case for next generation communications tech. Early real-world manifestations of LTE-R like this are likely to be closely monitored by many parts of the industry.

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.