KT, South Korea’s second largest mobile operator, is in the final stages of testing a new pre-standard 5G trial network in preparation for the 2018 Winter Games in PyeongChang.
The operator and its partners recently agreed on steps to deploy and optimise the network in 2017, including plans for joint technology development.
KT conducted tests with Ericsson along the Incheon Airport Railway – a new high-speed rail line linking capital city Seoul with Incheon International Airport. The tests included handover between pre-standard 5G base stations along the railway and delivered a peak throughput of 4Gb/s, Ericsson said in a statement.
The companies also agreed to jointly develop beam forming and beam tracking technology, as well as 5G-LTE inter-working technology to optimise capacity and coverage, said Fredrik Jejdling, Ericsson’s head of Business Area Networks.
“Our end-to-end 5G capabilities including radio and core network infrastructure, as well as services like Omni view, will enable KT to deliver entirely new experiences to its subscribers.”
Infrastructure in the 28GHz trial network will include a virtual radio access network (vRAN) and a virtualised core, and KT is already conducting interoperability tests based on the PyeongChang 5G SIG specification.
Seong-Mok Oh, head of KT’s Network Group, said: “Stability and interoperability among multiple services, systems and device manufacturers needs to be verified well in in advance of the trial network. We are raising the bar through our collaboration with partners such as Ericsson, which are leading 5G technology and standardisation”.
KT in April confirmed details of its ambitious plan to conduct extensive trials of pre-standard 5G technology at the Winter Olympics in February 2018, ahead of full commercial rollout in 2019.
At the time, KT EVP Hong-Beom Jeon acknowledged the network used at the Winter Olympics would use KT’s own 5G specifications and may need to be amended after 3GPP announces official standards for the technology at end-March 2018.