SK Telecom to work with Ericsson, Nokia and Samsung on 5G/6G R&D

SK Telecom CEO speaking about 5G
SK Telecom CEO Park Jung-ho, speaking at the ‘5G Launching Showcase’ in April. (SK Telecom)

South Korea operator SK Telecom will work with Ericsson, Nokia and Samsung in joint research and development for 5G and 6G technologies. Samsung is providing network equipment to SK Telecom for its 5G networks.


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SK Telecom has signed Memorandums of Understanding (MoUs) with each company, and will work closely with the technology partners in developing and commercializing 5G technologies such as ultra-reliable and low-latency communications (URLLC), enhanced multi-input multi-output (MIMO), differentiated 28 GHz technology, and standalone (SA) 5G networks, the operator said in a release.


Under the deal, SK Telecom will also work with the network vendors on the next generation of cellular networks - 6G. The operator said it will develop and draft technical requirements and new business models for 6G.


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SK Telecom’s CTO and head of its ICT R&D center, Park Jin-hyo, said the operator will “lead the way towards 6G mobile network communication” through its collaboration with the equipment vendors.


While it’s still early days for 5G, researchers at NYU Wireless, Nokia Bell Labs and Virginia Tech have already begun work on the next cellular standard; and the first 6G summit was held earlier this year in Finland. Virginia Tech associate professor Walid Saad, who recently co-authored a report on 6G, said its not too early to begin research on 6G.


“The development of a wireless cellular system generation requires a decade of research, and early-on visions are important to drive that research,” Saad said.


The first 6G standard isn’t expected to arrive until the 2030s.