SK Telecom moved “one step closer to realising 5G” after hitting a low latency rate of 2 milliseconds (ms) from handset to base station in a demonstration with vendor Nokia.
In a statement, the South Korean operator said the newly developed 2ms latency technology: “is expected to facilitate the development of diverse real-time services – e.g. autonomous driving, AR and VR services – which will become widespread in the 5G era”.
Providing some context behind the feat, SK Telecom said the latency between handset and base station in the “existing LTE environment” is around 25ms.
This can support services such as two-way communications like remote learning and smart working, but is not enough to seamlessly provide services requiring real time transmission of data such as autonomous driving and telemedicine.
SK Telecom and Nokia said they reduced the latency by using Uplink Pre-Scheduling, a technology enabling the handset to immediately transmit data to the base station, along with Short Transmission Travel (TTI) technology, which reduces data transmission time between base station and handset.
There is, however, work still to be done to reach 5G standards.
According to remits set by the International Telecommunication Union, technologies designed for 5G need to deliver a peak data rate of up to 20Gb/s under ultra-low latency of 1ms.
SK Telecom said it would continue to work with Nokia to reach global standards for 5G being developed by 3GPP.
“We will continue to improve our low latency technologies to achieve 5G evolution, while applying the latest technologies to our LTE networks to further enhance customer experience,” Park Jin-hyo, SVP and head of Network Technology R&D Centre of SK Telecom, said.