The race to be the first to demonstrate and launch 5G is heating up. The latest entrant is SK Telecom which announced today that it has signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with Nokia to conduct joint research and development on 5G with the ultimate goal of demonstrating the technology in 2018 and commercially launching it in 2020.
The two companies announced today that they will be establishing a 5G test bed at SK Telecom's Corporate R&D Center in Bundang, a district near Seoul. In addition, they will be teaming on the development of millimeter wave, or mmWave, technology, which uses wideband spectrum in ultra-high frequency bands like 6.5 GHz or higher.
The 3GPP considers mmWave one of the core technologies for 5G and has noted that when combined with multiple input and multiple output, or MIMO, technology, 5G could support gigabit-class data transmission.
This isn't the first time SK Telecom has teamed with Nokia on 5G. Last June the two firms decided to cooperate on the development of next-gen technologies such as virtualization, software-defined networking and cloud network management.
By aiming for a 5G demonstration in 2018, SK Telecom is trying to meet, or perhaps, beat Russian operator MegaFon, which announced in November that it was teaming with Huawei to demonstrate 5G during the FIFA World Cup in 2018.
Huawei and MegaFon said that they wanted to use the FIFA World Cup as a platform to make "wireless history" and demonstrate leadership in 5G.
- see this press release
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