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SKT says 5G network is tested, ready to go

Mar 26,2019
SK Telecom says it will be ready to roll out its 5G network when the world’s first 5G smartphone, Samsung Electronics’ Galaxy S10 5G, is released on April 5.

SK announced Monday it has completed the core tests required to operate its 5G network. The carrier said it trialed several thousand tests by creating 100 hypothetical environments over the past two months using specialized equipment. Tests included smartphone connectivity, interface verification and the suitability of network frequency.

The company has embedded a function that it calls triple aggregation to the Galaxy S10 5Gs that it is selling.

Triple aggregation utilizes 5G, 4G LTE and Wi-Fi for data use. This allows users to download a single movie - usually two gigabytes - in four seconds at locations where all three types of networks are available.

Through the so-called 5G media compression technology, SK Telecom will cut down more than 30 percent of users’ data consumption. The technology will be applied to 5G virtual reality (VR) content, which is four to six times higher than standard videos.

With the technology, only the area of virtual reality that is being viewed at any one time will be streamed, cutting down on data downloads. Such technology was not feasible on 4G LTE because it wasn’t fast enough to catch up with the viewer’s eye movement.

“We have come to commercialize cutting-edge technologies developed for [the] 5G era in time for the release of the world’s first 5G smartphone,” said Park Jin-hyo, chief technology officer of SK Telecom. “Based on these technologies, [SK Telecom] users will be able to experience the highest quality service with the same type of smartphone.”

Meanwhile, the telecoms company proposed its 5G payment plan Monday, according to the Ministry of Science and ICT. SK Telecom’s first proposal was rejected earlier this month due to its high pricing. It was reportedly set higher than 70,000 won ($62.80). The latest proposal is said to include a payment plan that is priced within the mid-50,000 won range. The ministry will decide on the plan as early as this week. Rivals KT and LG U+ will base their plans on the SK Telecom plan.


BY JIN MIN-JI [jin.minji@joongang.co.kr]