SK Telekom touts successful 5G repeater trial in high-traffic Gangnam area

Seoul (pixabay)
SK Telekom says the repeater will enable dense coverage by eliminating shadow areas.

Never one to shy away from new technology, SK Telekom announced that it successfully developed a 5G repeater and used it in its 5G trial network near Gangnam Station in Seoul, Korea, one of the most data traffic-heavy places in Korea.

SK used the repeater to improve signals in blanket/shadow areas by amplifying 5G radio signals. With the deployment of the 5G repeater, 5G networks will be able to provide dense coverage by eliminating shadow areas, the operator said.

The 5G repeater was built with SK Telecom’s independently developed 5G relay technology and is expected to resolve the issue of 5G coverage limitations caused by the propagation characteristics of radio signals at superhigh/above-6 GHz frequency bands, according to SK. The company did not specify which spectrum it used in this trial.

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The Gangnam area in Seoul is one of the most difficult places to plan or build a network due to the presence of a large number of radio wave obstacles and high-density data traffic. SK Telecom’s deployment of the 5G repeater is significant as it will now be able to build 5G networks in other traffic-concentrated downtown areas with greater ease, the carrier said.

SK Telecom and Verizon have been driving 5G technology alongside the formal standards bodies and last year signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) to conduct joint studies and advance the standardization process for 5G.

In addition to 5G, the two companies are also swapping technical knowledge on LTE, IoT and network virtualization while agreeing to “strengthen cooperation” within the Open Compute Project (OCP) and the Mobile Central Office Re-architected as a Datacenter (M-CORD) project.

But Verizon is by no means the only one working with SK. Deutsche Telekom, parent to T-Mobile US, is “arguably one of the world leaders” in 5G and it’s working closely with SK in developing standards, noted Nils Paellmann, T-Mobile’s VP of investor relations, at a recent investor event.