SK Telecom, Nokia Transmit Data using 3GPP-approved 5G SA

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SK Telecom has demonstrated data transmission using 5G SA (Standalone) with Nokia, global network equipment vendor, just five days after the new 5G standard was approved by the 3GPP.

Being established in 1998, the 3rd Generation Partnership Project (3GPP) is a collaboration between groups of telecommunications standards associations, providing global 5G specifications to its members for the development of commercial telecommunications equipment.

The two have successfully carried out End-to-end data transmission and Ultra-low latency data processing using solely 3GPP-approved 5G SA at the Nokia Lab in Wroclaw, Poland.

At the trial site, the two companies have verified the feasibility of various 5G SA-based application services such as – VR, Ultra-HD video, Autonomous driving and Smart Factory.

SK Telecom pulled off the country’s first data transmission using only 5G SA, moving one step closer to the early commercialization of 5G. Last December, the company carried out the world’s first data transmission using 5G NSA (Non-standalone).

5G SA relies solely on 5G for data transmission, without depending upon 4G, whereas 5G NSA uses both the LTE and 5G networks. After the official announcement of 5G SA as the new 5G standard during a 3GPP meeting in La Jolla, the U.S., on June 13, SK Telecom and Nokia swiftly came up with 5G SA-aligned test products for their base stations.

SK Telecom has been developing both the 5G NSA and SA technologies. At the early stage of 5G commercialization, 5G NSA standard mobile phones and equipment will be used as 5G’s network coverage is limited and is critical to use the LTE and 5G, simultaneously. The company will gradually expand the use of 5G SA.

“By successfully verifying technologies aligned with the global 5G standard, we have gained a powerful driving force to lead our way into the global 5G commercialization,” said Park Jin-hyo, EVP of ICT R&D Center at SK Telecom. “SK Telecom will speed up our comprehensive efforts towards 5G commercialization, such as the release of 5G mobile phones and network deployment.”

“We’re pleased to collaborate with SK Telecom to showcase the best-in-class performance. The successful trial has demonstrated our end-to-end capabilities, making a major milestone towards 5G commercialization,” said Marc Rouanne, President of Mobile Networks at Nokia. “Nokia is committed to supporting SK Telecom to unlock the full potential of its network at different stages of 5G development.”