SK Telecom demos 5G using 3.5GHz band with Samsung and Nokia

SK Telecom mobile techSK Telecom has demonstrated 5G communications using the 3.5GHz band in Korea with the support of Samsung Electronics and Nokia.

SK Telecom is the leading telecom operator in Korea with 29.83 million mobile subscribers including 21.65 million LTE subscribers. SK Telecom’s annual revenue in 2016 was KRW 17.092 trillion with the support of mobile Internet business.

SK Telecom has a technology partnership with Samsung Electronics to develop 3.5GHz 5G network – comprised of 5G virtualized core, virtualized RAN, Distributed Unit (baseband unit and radio unit) and test device – based on the 3GPP 5G New Radio (5G NR) standards elements.

Samsung and SK Telecom completed the 5G network trial using 3.5GHz spectrum at Samsung Electronics’ R&D Center in Suwon, Korea.

SK Telecom has also worked with Nokia to co-develop 5G base station equipment and test device for the 3.5GHz spectrum and realized Gbps-level throughput during a field trial held near its Bundang Office Building through the application of carrier aggregation techniques to expand bandwidth.

Nokia and SK Telecom measured link quality (BLER) depending on the distance between a moving vehicle and base station, thereby securing important data for designing optimal 5G commercial networks in the 3.5GHz band.

SK Telecom will work with Samsung and Nokia to enhance transmission speeds, expand coverage and improve communication stability.

Through trials of 3.5GHz 5G networks, SK Telecom has secured all essential technologies to deploy 5G networks using above-6GHz and below-6GHz frequencies. 28GHz, a potential above-6GHz frequency in Korea, can support several tens of Gbps through the use of a wide bandwidth of more than several hundreds of MHz. On the other hand, 3.5GHz, one of the below-6GHz frequencies, can provide a stable coverage in wider areas.

SK Telecom will deploy commercial 5G networks using 28GHz in downtown areas where data traffic is most concentrated, while covering wide areas with 3.5GHz 5G networks or a combination of 3.5GHz and 28GHz 5G networks.

“With the demonstration of 5G communications using the 3.5GHz spectrum, SK Telecom has secured all key technologies for building commercial 5G networks using 3.5GHz and 28GHz frequency bands,” said Park Jin-hyo, head of Network R&D Center of SK Telecom.

Park Dong-soo, head of Global Sales & Marketing Team in Networks Business, Samsung Electronics; and Andrew Cope, head of Nokia Korea, were part of the 5G demonstration conducted by SK Telecom in Korea.