SK Telecom, IT&E Partner to Drive 5G in Guam and Saipan


SK Telecom has announced that its CEO and President Park Jung-ho met with Jose Ricardo Delgado, President and CEO of Citadel Holdings, and Jim Oehlerking, CEO of IT&E, to discuss cooperation for deployment of 5G network in Guam and Saipan.

At the meeting held in IT&E’s headquarters located in Guam, it has been agreed that SK Telecom and IT&E will work together to commercialize Fixed Wireless Access (FWA) 5G network in Guam and Saipan in the second half of 2019. FWA is a more cost-effective and efficient alternative to providing broadband in areas with limited access to fixed broadband services.

SK Telecom and IT&E said that the decision to deploy 5G FWA initially came as a result of an analysis of the region’s fixed broadband infrastructure, topographic features and need of residential and enterprise customers. IT&E has already secured 1150MHz bandwidth in the 28GHz frequency band for 5G communications and aims to launch the first-ever 5G service in the region.

The 5G rollout will begin from highly concentrated central areas of cities, local business customers and areas that lack fixed-line infrastructure. Then, the coverage of the network will be expanded gradually to wider areas.

SK Telecom plans to share with IT&E its extensive knowhow in network planning, deployment and operation to realize the best quality 5G network in Guam and Saipan: The company will help IT&E design a 5G network optimized for the local environment; support efficient network deployment; and perform field trials and network optimization.

Moreover, SK Telecom and IT&E have decided to develop specific areas for cooperation including 5G. At present, they are primarily focusing on mobile edge computing (MEC). By rolling out 5G networks applied with MEC in main areas of Guam and Saipan, they can dramatically enhance customer experience and lay the groundwork for services that require ultra-high speed data processing.

SK Telecom and IT&E have also discussed the idea of applying SK Telecom’s security solutions to IT&E’s 5G network. With the application of quantum cryptography technology, which has been utilized in Deutsche Telekom’s trial network in July 2018, IT&E will be able to provide its subscribers with the safest (safer) 5G service.

“SK Telecom will work closely with IT&E to deploy safe and stable 5G network in Guam and Saipan,” said Park Jung-ho, CEO and President of SK Telecom. “Going forward, SK Telecom will continue to cooperate with diverse players throughout the globe to accelerate 5G-powered innovations.”

“With SK Telecom contributing its engineering expertise as a global leader in the roll-out of 5G technology, IT&E’s 5G network will set the standard for communications in Guam and the Marianas for many years to come,” said Jose Ricardo Delgado, President and CEO of Citadel Holdings

“5G is transformational technology, and when supported by SK Telecom’s engineering team and our typhoon-proven network, our subscribers will enjoy a smooth transition to the next generation of mobile connectivity. With 5G, subscribers will be able to do everything faster – stream, download content, video call, and more,” said Jim Oehlerking, CEO of IT&E.