Samsung, SK Telecom rev 5G mmWave at the racetrack

Samsung Electronics and mobile operator SK Telecom have revved up new 5G millimeter wave tests, completing successful demos of a 5G multi-cell handover at a racetrack in South Korea.

The demos were performed at the Korea International Circuit racetrack in Yeongam and were meant to validate network performance under high-speed mobility conditions. The tests involved Samsung Networks’ end-to-end 5G gear including 5G vCore, 5G Digital unit, and 5G mmWave Radio Units.

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Two Samsung 5G base stations were placed along the track, and a Galaxy S10 5G smartphone was built into a race car. The vehicle sped down the raceway at about 130 miles per hour and verified stable performance of live downloads, uploads and handovers between 5G cell sites. Download speeds on the smartphone inside the car hit up to 1 Gbps, using 200 MHz of spectrum in the 28 GHz band.  

Samsung said the equipment used was the same that U.S. operators have been using in commercial networks since the first half of 2019. Samsung is one of the vendors providing 5G network equipment to each AT&T, Sprint, and Verizon in certain launch markets.

In addition to the network performance, the recent mmWave test also showcased potential 5G applications. The demo involved delivering live video streams from inside the car using SK Telecom’s T Live Caster 5G solution to broadcast multiple views of the race in real-time, according to Samsung.

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The network vendor said the work with SK Telecom provides a look at how mmWave technology can help create new experiences for moto-sport event fans. Samsung pointed to augmented and virtual reality and 360-degree video streams from cameras inside a car’s cockpit as a way fans could view the race from a driver’s perspective or feel as though they’re in a moving racecar themselves.

In a video accompanying the announcement, Samsung showed a 4K multi-angle race view, and instant race replay with time slicing, among others. Check out the video below to see more.

“5G commercial service means much more than just faster speeds. It is a vital engine in transforming digital landscapes to bring enhanced and new business models that had only lived in our imagination,” said Park Jin-hyo, CTO and Head of ICT R&D Center of SK Telecom, in a statement.

In July SK Telecom and Samsung announced they successfully completed Korea’s first interoperability test between 5G Standalone (SA) core and other commercial network solutions over a 5G network.

The recent tests build on earlier similar work by Samsung in 2017 with KDDI, which included the first 5G handover at 118 miles per hour and hitting 1 Gbps download speeds in a car traveling at 127 miles per hour.