SK Telecom-Nokia Networks Successfully Verify Key Enabling Technology for 5G Core Network

SK Telecom and Nokia Networks, the leading global network equipment vendor, announced today that they have successfully verified the performance of the co-developed "user plane and control plane separation technique," one of the key enabling technologies for hybrid core network architecture for 5G.


The physical separation of control plane and user plane of the LTE core network architecture is an essential technique for building hybrid core network architecture that offers benefits of both centralized and distributed network models.


With the technology, the core network architecture is restructured into a hybrid network model with distributed user plane functions, controlled by centralized control plane functions for optimal delivery of massive data.


The core network can be described as the control tower of telecommunication network, performing important features to provide services including user authentication, voice calls, and Internet connectivity. As end user traffic must go through not only radio access network but also core network before reaching the Internet, radical renovations on core network architecture is one of the keys to the successful implementation and commercialization of 5G.


Meanwhile, SK Telecom and Nokia Networks today opened a 5G research and development center at Nokia Networks' Korean office. The center will serve as a venue where researchers from the two companies will study and develop core 5G technologies, including gigabit-level data transmission technology and cloud-based virtualized base stations. Moreover, SK Telecom and Nokia Networks will open a test bed within the end of 2015 to verify and demonstrate 5G technologies.


"SK Telecom is spearheading the efforts to develop 5G enabling technologies and architecture to flawlessly support high-speed transmission of massive data, including immersive multimedia contents," said Alex Jin-sung Choi, the Chief Technology Officer of SK Telecom. "We will continue to work closely with Nokia Networks to optimize network architecture in preparation for the 5G pilot service demonstration in 2018."


"A flexible and programmable network architecture is a key part of 5G. Our cooperation with SK Telecom has demonstrated key enablers for it and we look forward to continued cooperation for early 5G introduction," said Lauri Oksanen, VP Research and Technology, T&I Research, at Nokia Networks."

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