South Korea’s SK Telecom and Nokia have agreed to conduct joint research to develop supposed core 5G network technologies such as gigabit-level data communications and cloud-based virtualised base station technology.
The companies plan to demonstrate 5G in 2018 and commercialise 5G services in 2020. Their first step will be to set up a test bed at SK Telecom’s R&D centre in Seoul to demonstrate 5G technologies. Their efforts will focus on ‘cmWave/ mmWave 5G technology’, which uses wideband spectrum resources in ultra-high frequency bands (6GHz or higher).
The 2018 timeframe is in line with Huawei’s efforts to trial 5G at the 2018 World Cup in Russia.
The two companies have been working together since last June to develop virtualisation, SDN and next-gen cloud network management technologies and in November introduced Cloud vRAN, which they claim is the world’s first base station virtualisation technology.
SK Telecom and Nokia are among many big name industry players attempting to drive development of 5G technology, which isn’t actually likely to be officially ratified as a standard until 2016 at the earliest.