SK Telecom, Samsung fete interoperability test with 5G SA core

SK Telecom
The companies said they implemented several cutting-edge technologies in the 5G SA core. (SK Telecom)

Samsung Electronics and SK Telecom announced that they successfully completed Korea’s first interoperability test between 5G Standalone (SA) core and other commercial network solutions over a 5G network.

The 5G SA core, jointly developed by Samsung Electronics and SK Telecom, supports technologies such as network slicing and function modulation based on 3GPP standards. It also offers additional functions that operators have been using since LTE, include billing, subscriber management and operational convenience system.

The interoperability assessment was the final stage for testing the validity of 5G SA data transmission, signifying that the SA system is ready to be launched for commercial service. The companies didn’t specify when that’s going to happen.

The companies, which have been collaborating on 5G for the past five years, cited several cutting-edge technologies in the 5G SA core that they used for the test: data parallel processing technology that allows simultaneous processing of multiple steps including packet classification; QoS processing and billing transmission; data acceleration technology that transmits compressed data of similar types; and optimization technology that delivers the most optimized data traffic for Mobile Edge Computing (MEC) platform.

“The fundamental structure of 5G SA is built on a completely new configuration, successfully delivering the most optimized 5G service to customers and enterprises across numerous industries,” said Jeon Jae-ho, executive vice president and head of R&D, Networks Business at Samsung Electronics, in a press release. “Maintaining Korea’s leadership in network innovations through continuous investments in next-generation technologies is important to Samsung and SK Telecom, and the companies will continue to collaborate on developing and commercializing 5G SA.”

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Operators in the U.S. are deploying networks using 5G Non-Standalone (NSA) architecture, which is combined with their legacy LTE networks. The SA version does not require a legacy network.

The companies noted that once 5G SA is commercialized, data throughput will be improved almost by threefold, allowing optimal management of massive data traffic. In addition, 5G SA will enable the most optimized performance of next-gen services in applications like autonomous driving, smart factories and augmented reality and virtual reality.