SK Telecom has launched its mobile edge computing open platform to reduce 5G data latency by up to 60%.
The Korean operator says the platform will enhance Quality of Experience (QoE), particularly for applications such as augmented/virtual reality (AR/VR) and smart factories. SK Telecom also plans to open up its MEC platform to third-party developers and provide open APIs.
Mobile Edge Computing (MEC) speeds up data transmission by allowing data to be processed at the edge of the network. The technology will help to deliver on 5G’s promise of ultra-low latency for use cases such as AR/VR services, cloud gaming services, autonomous driving and fleet management, and real-time live broadcasting.
Soon, enterprise customers will be able to connect their service servers or data centres to SK Telecom’s 5G
MEC Platform to improve Quality of Experience (QoE). Further, SK Telecom will also provide open application programming Interfaces (APIs) to enable companies to easily develop MEC-based 5G services.
SK Telecom is working with the Facebook-led Telecom Infra Project (TIP) to build an ecosystem for MEC developers. The operator is also discussing the application of MEC technology to new AR games for Niantic, the creator of ‘Pokémon GO and exploring partnerships with other cloud gaming companies, AR/VR service providers and cloud providers.
In October, SK Telecom and Deutsche Telecom signed a cross-investment agreement. SK Telecom agreed to invest in MobiledgeX and Deutsche Telekom agreed to invest the same (undisclosed) amount in ID Quantique, SK Telecom’s strategic partner in quantum cryptography technology.
Park Jin-hyo, Chief Technology Officer of SK Telecom, said, “By opening up the ‘5G Mobile Edge Computing Platform’, SK Telecom will secure the basis for expanding the MEC-related ecosystem and accelerating the release of 5G services,” said “SK Telecom will join hands with diverse companies throughout the globe to boost the adoption of MEC-based services.”
SK Telecom recently completed tests with Samsung which will further contribute towards speeding up data transmission speeds. SK Telecom and Samsung Electronics also completed a network device interoperability test that applies dual connectivity technology, using both 4G and 5G networks provided by Samsung. The technology is also known as ‘E-UTRAN New Radio Dual Connectivity (EN-DC)’ based on the 3GPP 5G New Radio (NR) standard.
During the test, both companies achieved 2.65Gbps in data speeds on a 5G smartphone, combining both 1.5Gbps in 5G using 3.5GHz frequency (100MHz bandwidth) with 1.15Gbps in LTE using 1.8GHz, 2.1GHz, and 2.6Gz frequencies (65MHz bandwidth) – all of which are available for commercial use by SK Telecom. SK Telecom says it will be able to boost overall data transmission speeds by 80% through leveraging 4G and 5G dual connectivity.
Earlier this month, SK Telecom and Deutsche Telekom signed a Memorandum of Understanding to jointly develop 5G, media and security technologies with Deutsche Telekom. Korea is expected to be the first country to roll out commercial 5G networks – in the first half of 2019.
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5G is seen as being critical to the competitiveness of German business and industry, and the economy at large as it will support many IoT applications, including connected and autonomous vehicles.
Along with many other countries, Germany has been engulfed in the row over Huawei’s trustworthiness, and has come under immense pressure from the US to bar it from Germany’s 5G infrastructure.