SK Telecom to host 3 startups at TEAC in Seoul as part of Facebook-led TIP

TEAC Seoul (SK Telecom)
The three startups, each of which is working on technology that is relevant to 5G, were chosen from among more than 30 applicants. (SK Telecom)

SK Telecom announced that its Telecom Infra Project (TIP) Ecosystem Acceleration Center (TEAC) in Seoul will host three startups: Optella, Kulcloud and Transcelestial.

The three startups, each of which is working on technology that is relevant to 5G, were chosen from among more than 30 applicants. 

Optella was established in 2015 by a group of senior researchers from the Electronics and Telecommunications Research Institute. It’s headquartered in San Jose, California, with an R&D center in Korea.

Based on its strength in silicon optical bench-based single-mode photonics and electronics integrated technology, Optella plans to concentrate on developing a cost-effective, low-power 5G wireless optical network solution to maximize transmission efficiency for massive data.

Kulcloud, with headquarters in Pangyo, South Korea, is a cloud networking company founded in 2011 that has been developing advanced products and solutions required for software-defined networking (SDN) in the 5G era.

At TEAC Seoul, Kulcloud will concentrate on developing a technology that satisfies requirements for time sync, quality of service and low latency so that 5G packet fronthaul can be configured based on white box switching and DevOps principles using SDN, according to a press release. Its technology is expected to meet 5G networks’ requirements in an environment characterized by widely distributed resources and tight constraints on service quality.

Transcelestial, a Singapore-based startup, is developing a laser communication solution to replace existing wireless communication technology. The aim is to develop a constellation of nano satellites that uses lasers to transfer and relay data for ground, satellite and deep space applications. It is said to be the fastest (up to 100 Gbps) long-distance point-to-point wireless communication network possible.

Working with the TEAC in Seoul, Transcelestial will prepare for a demonstration of wireless backhaul for a small cell device in a master/slave outdoor urban setup to prove the reliability and superiority of its free-space optics solution. The solution is expected to be “pivotal” in building a cost-effective and robust 5G infrastructure, according to the press release.

All three companies will take part in the TIP summit to be held Nov. 8-9 in California’s Silicon Valley, and each will introduce their technologies and solutions to global members of the TIP community. The event will also give them a chance to meet and collaborate with startups from other TEACs.

The startups will be able to test and advance their new technologies on SK Telecom’s trial networks and be provided with office space and business consulting. Draper Athena, SoftBank Ventures Korea and the Seoul Business Agency will also be actively reviewing investment options among the startups.

TIP was founded in February 2016 by Facebook, Intel, DT, Nokia, SK Telecom and others, and by November 2016 it had announced the opening of the Seoul center, its first one to open, which was followed by centers supported by BT in London and Orange in Paris.

A couple of weeks ago, TIP announced that the TEAC program was launching its newest center in Berlin thanks to the support of Deutsche Telekom. At the same time, TIP announced it was launching an ambitious Millimeter Wave Networks Project Group to focus on use cases. The project is interested in validating whether 60 GHz unlicensed spectrum can be used to provide reliable broadband connectivity in dense urban environments.

RELATED: Facebook, Deutsche Telekom double down on millimeter wave tech at 60 GHz

Bruno Jacobfeuerborn, CTO of Deutsche Telekom, told FierceWirelessTech on the sidelines of Mobile World Congress Americas that his company wants to stay on the edge of technology at all times, and that’s one of the reasons it’s working with TIP.

“The interest for us is always to be one step ahead of the competition when it comes to innovation,” he said. If you achieve something, “you can maybe rest a minute. But if you don’t start again walking”—that is, trying to find the next area in which to distinguish yourself—“you will lose.” And, he said, “sometimes crazy ideas go through.”