SEOUL, South Korea (June 19, 2018) – KT Corp. (KRX: 030200; NYSE: KT), South Korea’s largest telecommunications company, is spearheading the global effort to commercialize the next generation of wireless connectivity, paving the way for its planned launch of the first nationwide 5G mobile network in March next year.
KT and other leading global partners completed the establishment of the standalone (SA) specifications for next-generation 5G networks at the 80th plenary meeting of the 3rd Generation Partnership Project (3GPP)’s Technical Specifications Group, held June 11-14 in La Jolla, California, the United States.
This is a major milestone to bring 5G to commercial reality, complementing the 3GPP’s approval of non-standalone (NSA) 5G New Radio (NR) specifications in December 2017. The latest SA version allows interdependent deployment of 5G networks, while the NSA 5G NR is built upon existing LTE (Long-Term Evolution) networks.
“Leading the 3GPP’s global initiative toward 5G standardization, KT is solidifying its position as a global pioneer in commercializing 5G technology,” said Seo Chang-Seok, head of KT’s Network Strategy Unit. “With our 5G technological prowess and leadership, we are confident that KT can successfully launch the best 5G mobile network next year.”
At the 3GPP working group’s meeting last week, KT also presented a final technical report on the 28 GHz spectrum, which included both NSA and SA 5G technologies, making it an official frequency band for the world’s next-generation wireless services.
On behalf of Korean mobile carriers, it also proposed the standardization and early commercialization of the dual-connectivity technology linking 3.5 GHz and 28 GHz bands for 5G NR, a new air interface being developed for 5G networks.
As the official telecom partner of the PyeongChang Winter Olympics, held in February this year, the Korean telecom operator demonstrated the world’s first 5G trial network based on its own NSA and SA specifications. Notably, it successfully showcased seamless autonomous driving for its 5G connected bus with its latest SA technology.
To prepare for its 5G commercial launch next year, KT sent out a request for proposal (RFP) early this year and is currently conducting a technical evaluation of commercial-ready 5G equipment jointly developed with global equipment manufacturers based on NSA specifications.
With the adoption of the new standards, known as Release-15, hardware vendors can begin manufacturing radios for use in phones, tablets, Internet of Things (IoT) hardware, and other mobile devices. The next step is Release-16, which will focus on ultra-reliable and low-latency communications (URLLC), a key service for 5G deployments in industrial IoT use cases, such as robotics and telepresence systems.
First established in 1998, the 3GPP is a collaboration between groups of telecommunications standards associations in Asia, Europe and North America, which manages and develops standards for next-generation mobile networks.
Hwang Chung-Woo, a principal research engineer of KT’s Institute of Convergence Technology, makes a presentation for a technical report on the 28 GHz spectrum at the 80th conference of the 3GPP’s Technical Specifications Group, held June 11–14 in La Jolla, California, the United States.
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