SK Telecom-Ericsson Successfully Demonstrate 5G Small Cell with Ultra-Low Inter-Cell Interference

  • 5G small cell system supports higher performance compared to LTE by removing inter-cell interference based on a new 5G radio _frame architecture
  • Plan to open a 5G testbed at SK Telecom’s Bundang Building within this year

SK Telecom (NYSE:SKM) today announced that it, together with Ericsson, successfully demonstrated an innovative 5G small cell system that offers much higher data rates than LTE by drastically suppressing inter-cell interference based on a new 5G radio _frame architecture.


Conducted in an area heavily affected by inter-cell interference from multiple neighboring small cells, the demonstration showed that the 5G small cell system more than doubled the cell-edge user performance compared to LTE.


At present, LTE small cells are being used by a wide range of mobile operators to enhance mobile data service quality in heavily congested areas. However, the biggest problem with these LTE small cells is that the service quality degrades with the number of small cells, due to inter-cell interference mainly caused by Cell-specific Reference Signals (CRS) collision.


To break away from the limitation of the LTE small cells, the two companies developed a new 5G radio _frame architecture and interference control technology fundamentally different from that of the LTE network.


With the 5G small cell system, SK Telecom and Ericsson move one step closer to the 5G network: To build a 5G network that supports hundreds of times higher quality than LTE, it will be inevitable for mobile carriers to install an increased number of small cells, and the ability to reduce inter-cell interference will translate into an important competitive advantage.


SK Telecom and Ericsson plan to establish a 5G Testbed at SK Telecom's Bundang Building within this year to jointly verify various types of 5G radio access technologies - including 5G small cell system - in the Korean mobile environment and develop other key 5G technologies with the aim to launch a 5G trial service in 2018.


"SK Telecom is delighted to announce the successful development of the 5G small cell system that tackles the root cause of inter-cell interference," said Alex Jinsung Choi, the Chief Technology Officer of SK Telecom. "We will continue to work closely with Ericsson to develop key 5G technologies so as to demonstrate a 5G trial service in 2018."


"With the development of the 5G small cell system, an enabling technology for 5G, we move one step closer to realizing the commercialization of 5G," said Thomas Norén, Vice President and Head of Radio Product Management of Ericsson. "Building on our achievement, we will keep collaborating with SK Telecom to develop 5G enabling technologies and services to lead the upcoming 5G market."

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