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SK Telecom and Samsung complete field tests of 28GHz mmW 5G system

SK Telecom

© Flickr/cc-licence/Pierre Metivier

  • Field test of 5G system using 3D beamforming
  • System build in August last year to SK Telecom’s own specifications
  • Results made available to the Open Trial Specification Alliance

SK Telecom has just announced that, in partnership with Samsung Electronics, it has successfully tested a 5G system at 28GHz in an outdoor environment. The test of the millimetre wave (mmW) system focused on transmitter, receiver and antenna technologies, as well as beamforming. SK Telecom calls its approach “3D beamforming”, as it steers the signal in both horizontal and vertical directions, and believes this to be a key technology that compensates for radio propagation path loss in the higher frequency bands caused by the short wavelengths of millimeter waves and high atmospheric attenuation.

SK Telecom and Samsung Electronics have revealed that they built the mmW 5G system at the end of August 2015, and have been conducting field tests using outdoor 5G base stations and a vehicle equipped with a 5G test handset since October. The objective was to measure and analyse service quality in the field, covering service coverage, transmission speed, latency and radio signal strength.

“SK Telecom is set to maintain its leadership in the 5G era by leading the development of 5G technologies and services,” said Park Jin-hyo, SVP and Head of Network Technology R&D Center of SK Telecom. “And with the successful field test of a 28GHz millimeter wave 5G system, SK Telecom moves one important step closer to achieving the world’s first commercialization of 5G.”

He added that the test results will be an important asset for building an enhanced 5G system, including its 5G pilot networks to be built within the end of this year. The telco began developing 5G specifications last year in order to construct its 5G trial service, and says it has now completed its development. Going forward, the company plans to discuss these specifications at the 5G Open Trial Specification Alliance – the group set up last month by Korea Telecom, NTT Docomo, SK Telecom and Verizon.

"This 5G field trial is one of the key milestones for the world's first 5G commercialisation," said Cheun Kyung-whoon, EVP and Head of the Communications Research Team at Samsung Electronics. "Samsung will prove the feasibility of key technologies with SK Telecom. This strategic collaboration will lead to the early adoption of 5G communications and provision of immersive service experience to end-users."


For a comprehensive overview and discussion on 5G, leading standards organisation ETSI is holding a one-day Summit in France on 21 April, details here.

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