Perhaps it's only fitting that South Korea should be grabbing all the headlines out of the 5G Global Summit, a special event for the 2014 ITU Pleniopotentiary Conference (PP-14) aimed at sharing information about 5G technology and facilitating international cooperation. After all, the event is staged in the southern port city of Busan, South Korea.
Given the South Korean mobile communications market is one of the world's most competitive and innovative, it's not surprising to hear that Samsung and SK Telecom have taken the lead on another important enabler of high quality mobile video, MPEG Media Transport (MMT) technology.
Ericsson-LG and South Korean operator SK Telecom agreed to cooperate on research and development efforts involving software-defined networking (SDN), network functions virtualization (NFV) and the cloud, all of which will likely play crucial roles in future 5G networks.
Huawei and LG Uplus signed a memorandum of understanding under which they will create a joint Mobile Innovation Center (MIC) in Seoul, South Korea, where the companies will work on LTE Advanced carrier aggregation, small cells and 5G technologies.
Seeking to lead the world into the dawn of 5G wireless networks, South Korea and the European Union have signed off on a pact that will see them collaborate on systems, standards and radio-frequency harmonization.
The governments of China and South Korea are being particularly aggressive in pursuing 5G development efforts, while Japan is taking an approach akin to that of the United States by relying more upon private companies to invest in the next-generation technologies.
SK Telecom said it will build out more 1.8 GHz base stations this year to provide 20 MHz of additional LTE bandwidth across South Korea and announced it is moving closer to rolling out a 10 MHz segment of the 2.1 GHz band that will enable it to provide 40 MHz of carrier-aggregated bandwidth.
The rush to 5G is drawing more attention on national and regional levels, as evidenced by this week's announcement that South Korea is dedicating 1.6 trillion won ($1.5 billion) to developing the concept.
SK Telecom intends to showcase its LTE Advanced three-band carrier aggregation technology next month during the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, delivering download speeds of 450 Mbps by aggregating three 20 MHz bands.
SK Telecom will launch joyn-branded Rich Communication Services (RCS) before the end of this year as the South Korean operator joins a handful of others that have made the RCS plunge.