Korean operator claims to be ‘several months ahead’ of global competitors in race to 5G

SK Telecom (SKT) this week claimed to be ‘several months ahead’ of global rivals in the race to 5G, after the Korean operator completed a 5G call using commercial network equipment supplied by Samsung.

The Korea Herald reported that the call used 100 MHz of spectrum in the 3.5 GHz band and was fully compliant with 3GPP’s 5G standards. It is said to be a significant milestone on SKT’s journey to 5G because the call took place using commercial network equipment at testbed closely replicating real-world conditions.

SK Telecom’s "preparations for 5G commercialisation are several months ahead of global competitors," said Park Jin-hyo, CTO of SK Telecom, in the report. "SKT will spend the next few months on maximising the quality of upcoming services."

According to the report, the companies plan to launch in December what they claim will be the world’s first 5G mobile dongle service. They plan to follow that up with a smartphone-based 5G service in March 2019.

"Samsung is gearing up for impeccable 5G services," declared Samsung EVP Cheun Kyung-whoon, in the report.