SK Telecom builds 5G mobile edge computing open platform, tests 4G-5G dual connectivity

SK Telecom booth at MWC18
SK Telecom is releasing an API that enterprise customers can use to develop MEC-based 5G services. (SK Telecom)

SK Telecom unveiled its mobile edge computing (MEC) open platform, which it says can enhance response times in 5G data communications. The operator plans to open up its MEC platform to enterprise customers to enable them to offer new services. 

MEC, which will be used in 5G networks to deliver ultra-low latency data, enables operators to cut down on latency by installing tiny data centers at 5G base stations. SK Telecom says MEC can cut latency by 60%. Applications such as AR/VR services, cloud gaming services, autonomous driving and fleet management, and real-time live broadcasting will all make use of MEC in 5G networks. 

“By opening up the ‘5G Mobile Edge Computing Platform’, SK Telecom will secure the basis for expanding the MEC-related ecosystem and accelerating the release of 5G services,” said Park Jin-hyo, CTO of SK Telecom, in a statement. “SK Telecom will join hands with diverse companies throughout the globe to boost the adoption of MEC-based services.”

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SK Telecom is releasing an API that enterprise customers can use to develop MEC-based 5G services. The company is betting enterprise customers can use the platform to improve efficiency and QoE by reducing latency in communications. A smart factory, for example, can use the MEC platform and a 5G network to increase response time of manufacturing robots.

RELATED: SK Telecom tests 5G interoperability with Samsung, Nokia, Ericsson

At Mobile World Congress this year, the operator teamed up with MobiledgeX to demo a MEC-based industrial AR service. SK Telecom is also working with the Telecom Infra Project (TIP), the Facebook-backed tech initiative, to build out an ecosystem for MEC developers. 

SK Telecom also successfully conducted a 4G-5G network dual connectivity test with Samsung, using Samsung’s E-UTRAN New Radio Dual Connectivity (EN-DC) tech, which is based on the 3GPP 5G NR standard. 

RELATED: Samsung touts 5G NR data transmission with Verizon, Qualcomm

The test checked network device interoperability using dual connectivity technology on 4G and 5G networks using Samsung’s Galaxy S10 5G smartphone and its virtual core (vCore) product that supports 4G and 5G simultaneously. The companies were able to achieve data rates of 2.65 Gbps on a 5G smartphone, with 1.5 Gbps coming from 5G using 3.5 GHz frequency and 1.15 Gbps coming from LTE using 1.8 GHz, 2.1 GHz, and 2.6 GHz frequencies. 

SK Telecom says the technology can be used to improve transmission data speed by 80% by leveraging the 4G and 5G dual connectivity. 

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