SK Telecom, Ericsson serve up a slice of new 5G trials

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SK Telecom and Ericsson are to explore how network slicing can improve operational efficiency and time to market in their latest 5G collaboration.

The companies have announced they will build what they dub the world's first 5G-ready Hyperscale Data Centre System, which will offer operators high performance and reliability for virtual network functions.

By building network slicing for 5G networks, operators will be able to run their networks more efficiently and take less time to launch new services, the companies claimed.

SK Telecom said this technology would be crucial for operators to enable the likes of virtual and augmented reality, high quality video, holograms and the Internet of Things.

Work is under way at a joint testbed, which will be located at SK Telecom's Bundang Building. The test bed is set to open later this year.

Ulf Ewaldsson, CTO at Ericsson, said: “Network slicing, based on virtual Evolved Packet Core, is an important part of the technology evolution of 5G, supporting operators with a new, broader set of services. We look forward to bringing 5G to life together with SK Telecom.”

Alex Jinsung Choi, CTO at SK Telecom, said: “Virtual network architecture, including network slicing, is critical to supporting new services in the era of 5G. We will build an optimal network for a wide array of services from the overall end-to-end standpoint, and pioneer the evolution of innovative networks.”

Last month, the operator and vendor demonstrated how interference could be minimised in 5G small cell networks. Ericsson is also working with fellow Korean operator KT to explore how distributed MIMO can work within the Internet of Things.