Ericsson maintains global 5G standards push with SK Telecom partnership

Ericsson continued to push for global 5G standards by signing a deal to work with South Korea's largest mobile operator, SK Telecom, to develop core technologies for the next generation network.

The pair on Monday announced they signed a memorandum of understanding at Ericsson's headquarters in Stockholm covering the development of technologies they consider will be essential to the operation of 5G networks, and pledged to work towards demonstrating the first technologies at the 2018 Winter Olympic Games, which will be held in the South Korean city of Pyeongchang.

Technologies on the table for development include small cells, ultra-wideband, and low latency technology, which the duo defines as technology with a data transmission rate of 1 millisecond. The companies also committed to exploring the convergence of FDD and TDD technologies, and gigabyte-level data transmission technology.

The agreement also covers development of entirely new technologies, if required for the operation of 5G, a SK Telecom statement revealed.

Thomas Norén, vice president and head of Ericsson's Radio product area, said SK Telecom's number one position in a market that leads the way in LTE deployments makes the operator a strong partner. "They are early drivers of technology and we see them as an important partner in defining new opportunities, innovations and requirements for the continued evolution of LTE and towards 5G."

The deal follows a landmark agreement signed by the European Commission and South Korea's government in June, which aims to harmonise development of 5G technology to define what the technology should be by end-2015, and then provide joint research and development funding over the following two years.

Neelie Kroes, EC vice president responsible for the Digital Agenda, said the cooperation agreement will help to position Europe as a global digital leader, as she pushes the case for technology as an economic driver.

Ericsson last week announced it had achieved data rates of 5 Gbps in demonstrations of pre-standard 5G technology, sister publication FierceWireless:Tech reported.

For more:
- see SK Telecom's announcement
- see this FierceWireless:Tech article

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