SK Telecom begins 100G upgrade

SK Telecom, the leading mobile operator in South Korea and the third placed player in the country’s broadband market, has begun upgrading its optical network from 40G to 100G technology. The operator is working with Nokia Siemens Network on the deployment and NSN said that SK will eventually have a total capacity of 8Tbps on its optical network.

NSN’s Tapani Sairanen, head of customer sales support for Optical networks in Asia and the Middle East, said that SK’s upgrade was driven by the need to guarantee quality of experience for its mobile broadband service.

“With increasing smartphone adoption in Korea, there is a surging demand for higher capacity networks,” said Sairanen. “Operators such as SK Telecom need to expand their network capacity multifold and they need to do so cost efficiently by optimizing the use of existing fiber” .

In October last year, Intelligence, the research arm of, surveyed more than 290 industry players, including more than 120 operators, for their opinions on the move to 100G optical. While only 13.1 per cent of operators claimed to have already deployed the technology it is clearly on many operators’ agenda. Almost one fifth of those surveyed said they were planning deployment within the next 12 months, while a further 28.7 per cent said they expected to deploy in 12 – 24 months.

At the end of 2012, Nokia Siemens announced the impending sale of its optical networks unit to private equity house Marlin Equity Partners.

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