SK Telecom claims to have become the first South Korean mobile operator to install 5G technologies on its premises, having teamed up with Samsung to build a system to verify millimeter-wave (mmWave) technology.
The system, housed in SK Telecom's Bundang Building – its corporate research and development (R&D) center – is regarded as one of the key building blocks for future 5G networks, Telecom Asia reports.
SK Telecom and Samsung will now be able to test and verify wireless transmission using the mmWave technology, advancing transmission performance between base station and handset.
Telecoms firms are keen to utilise mmWave technology because it uses 30-GHz or higher frequency bands to improve transmission and capacity. Use of high-frequency spectrum is thought to be vital to ensuring 5G delivers on its transmission speed promise while addressing saturation at lower frequencies.
It was reported in October last year that SK Telecom and Samsung were to work on developing technologies that will enable the use of spectrum above 6-GHz.
The companies displayed some of their work at this year's Mobile World Congress, demonstrating data rates of 7.55Gbps by using a jointly developed 3D beamforming antenna technology to reduce propagation loss at millimeter-wave frequencies.
"Through close collaboration with a global ICT player Samsung Electronics, SK Telecom is pleased to launch the mmWave system where we can develop and verify mmWave technologies," SK Telecom CTO and head of corporate R&D Alex Jinsung Choi said.
"SK Telecom and Samsung Electronics will further strengthen joint R&D efforts to lead the upcoming 5G era.