SK Telecom, Nokia Networks open 5G R&D centre in South Korea

SK Telecom and Nokia Networks opened a 5G research and development centre at the Finnish equipment manufacturer's South Korean office.

The two companies, which are striving to be at the forefront of 5G technology development, said the new centre would enable researchers from both companies to study and develop core 5G technologies, including gigabit-level data transmission technology and cloud-based virtualised base stations.

"A flexible and programmable network architecture is a key part of 5G. Our cooperation with SK Telecom has demonstrated key enablers for it and we look forward to continued cooperation for early 5G introduction," said Lauri Oksanen, VP Research and Technology, T&I Research, at Nokia Networks.

South Korea-based SK Telecom and Nokia Networks added that they will open a test bed before the end of 2015 to verify and demonstrate 5G technologies.

The operator and vendor also said they reached a further milestone in the development of 5G technologies after successfully verifiying what they describe as a key enabling technology for 5G core networks.

The move comes a week after the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) established a roadmap for the standardisation of 5G technologies and confirmed that the IMT-2020 label will be applied to the next generation of mobile standards.

While the first 5G systems are not expected to be in place before 2020, with the necessary spectrum to be issued in 2019, the 2018 PyeongChang Winter Olympic Games in South Korea is expected to become world's first international event to showcase and demonstrate 5G technology.

"SK Telecom is spearheading the efforts to develop 5G enabling technologies and architecture to flawlessly support high-speed transmission of massive data, including immersive multimedia contents," said Alex Jin-sung Choi, CTO at the operator "We will continue to work closely with Nokia Networks to optimise network architecture in preparation for the 5G pilot service demonstration in 2018."

For more:
- see this SK Telecom release

Related articles:
ITU outlines 5G roadmap towards 'IMT-2020'
du aims to pilot 5G services from 2018, launch commercial services in 2020
Is Turkey about to gamble with its mobile broadband future?
Ofcom identifies 'preliminary set of bands' above 6 GHz for 5G
Building 5G networks without the band aid