SK Telecom and Samsung Electronics announced on October 15 that they have succeeded in making the “first call” with the 5G commercial equipment installed at a test bed of SK Telecom’s Bundang office building. The first call is the final procedure for validating the transmission and receipt of data in an environment which is the same as that for commercial service.
A successful first call process includes connection between the core network elements such as the base station and the exchanger, “synchronization” according to the operating time of various devices for communication, “authentication” of normal access to the network by 5G subscribers, and everything else required for commercialization of services such as connecting the current 5G-Long Term Evolution (LTE) network with the upcoming 5G Non Standard Alone (NSA) network.
Many telecom companies including SK Telecom have succeeded in 5G first call with their standard and test equipment, but the SKT-Samsung’s first call is noteworthy in that the whole process was carried out with the 5G commercial equipment that can be used in the real field.
The two companies also performed the test by using the frequency band of 100 MHz width in the 3.5 GHz spectrum, which is identical to the commercial service environment and complies with the 3GPP international standards.
The two companies will spend next few months on establishing 5G equipment in the actual field to carry out the last verification of the technology. They will optimize the technology to ensure the best quality service in various fields such as an indoor, outdoor, and moving environment. The final test of 5G equipment and technology in bad weather, natural disaster, and unexpected situation will also be performed.
SK Telecom CTO Park Jin-hyo said, "The Korean mobile carriers are several months ahead of global competitors in the whole process for 5G commercialization, ranging from the development and demonstration of 5G technology based on global standards and 5G equipment selection to the first call this time,” adding, “SKT will be maximizing the quality of the upcoming services based on its world leading technology until its commercialization.”