SK Telecom Strengthens Cooperation with Nokia Networks on 5G, Virtualized Base Station Tech


Driving innovation for next generation of communication technologies, SK Telecom has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with Nokia Networks to work together on development and verification of the fifth-generation (5G) mobile network technologies.

Under the MOU, the two companies will conduct joint researches to develop core 5G network technologies such as the gigabit-level data communications technology and cloud-based virtualized base station technology.

At the signing ceremony, the two companies announced plans to make all-out efforts to demonstrate 5G in 2018 and commercialize 5G service in 2020. To this end, they plan to establish a test bed at SK Telecom’s Corporate R&D Center located in Bundang, Seoul, to verify and demonstrate 5G technologies.

In particular, SK Telecom and Nokia will develop ‘cmWave/ mmWave 5G technology*,’ which uses wideband spectrum resources in ultra-high frequency bands (above 6.5GHz ) for data communications. The technology is currently being discussed as one of the core 5G technologies by the 3rd Generation Partnership Project (3GPP), a mobile telecommunications standardization organization.

*’cmWave/mmWave 5G technology’ uses wideband spectrum resources from 6GHz or higher frequency bands for data communications. Combined with MIMO(multiple-input and multiple-output) technology, it supports gigabit-class data transmission

The MOU signing ceremony, held at Nokia’s Headquarters located in Finland, was attended by Choi Jin-sung, Executive Vice President and Head of Corporate R&D Center (CTO) of SK Telecom, and Hossein Moiin, Head of Technology and Innovation (CTO) at Nokia.

“By joining hands with Nokia, we expect to accelerate our speeds toward the development of core 5G technologies,” said Choi Jin-sung, Executive Vice President and Head of Corporate R&D Center. “Envisioning an era where all things and people are organically connected, SK Telecom will continue to bring innovative changes to the mobile network structure.”

Nokia Networks CTO, Hossein Moiin said, “5G networks will interconnect humans, machines and things to enable very diverse use cases with extreme requirements. Nokia Networks is driving 5G research and standardization with SK Telecom and collaborating with industry to expand the human possibilities of the connected world.”

Meanwhile, in June 2014, SK Telecom has signed an MOU with Nokia to cooperate on the development of technologies including virtualization, software-based network establishment and next-generation cloud network management, all of which are critical in developing base stations for the 5G network. As the result, the two companies successfully developed ‘Cloud vRAN,’ the world’s first base station virtualization technology, in November 2014.