SK Telecom announced on October 11 that it has developed the world’s first Handover-Free Cell that guarantees high quality voice and data transmission even in the boundary areas between base stations.
The existing mobile telecommunications system is operated based on cells that a base station forms, together with a cellular protocol that places those cells in sequence. A terminal that a customer uses chooses the cell with the best reception at the customer’s location as the main base station. Any shift in the terminal location prompts a procedure that changes the main base station, which is called handover. The handover is essential for cellular telecommunications. But in some cases, its quality deteriorates due to operating at the edge of the cell.
To address quality degradation, the Korean mobile carrier has tried to develop Handover-Free Cell technology that removes the need for inter-cell handover. The company has worked in collaboration with Ericsson, a leading provider of telecommunications equipment and services, since March. Through the development of the new technology, customers see 1.5 to 2 times faster data transmission rates for terminals at the cell edge and a 5-10% increase in the total cell system capacity. The company is planning to install the technology into its network in the first half of 2014.
SK Telecom also announced that it developed Reduced-Power Subframe (RPS), an upgraded version of its enhanced Inter-Cell Interference Coordination (eICIC), in partnership with Ericsson. The eICIC technology is one of the core Long Term Evolution Advanced (LTE-A) technologies. Compared to eICIC, RPS increases cell system capacity by as much as 62 percent.