SK Telecom today announced that it completed the first 5G call with 5G equipment maker Samsung Electronics.
SK Telecom, a leading telecom operator in Korea, used the 3GPP 5G Non-standalone (NSA) new radio (NR) standard and commercial 5G NR equipment that can be applied to commercial 5G network.
SK Telecom’s engineers conducted the first 5G NSA-NR calls — at the company’s 5G testbed located in its Bundang office building — by utilizing end-to-end solutions that SK Telecom and Samsung jointly developed and built for the trial on 3.5GHz 5G NR radio, 4G LTE radio and NSA core.
SK Telecom said the infrastructure of legacy 4G LTE supports 5G connecting mobile devices to both 4G and 5G for data traffic, while utilizing the 4G network for non-data traffic such as exchanging signals for mobility controls. 5G NSA-NR is one of the 5G architectures for the initial 5G deployments.
Samsung Electronics earlier said it has been selected by SK Telecom to supply 5G solutions, including core and RAN, compliant to 5G New Radio (NR) standard based on 3GPP Release 15.
Samsung and SK Telecom will begin 5G commercial deployments in October 2018 using Non-Standalone (NSA) architecture. NSA uses legacy 4G LTE network for mobility control, and transmits gigabit speed data traffic through both 4G and 5G networks.
Samsung and SK Telecom in June 2017 achieved a world-first by interworking 4G LTE and 5G NR utilizing 3.5GHz and 28GHz spectrum.
Samsung in July 2018 unveiled its 5G NR radio equipment supporting 3.5GHz spectrum, to be used for Korean operators’ commercial deployment from 2018.