SK Telecom has solved the issue of interworking among 5G mobile telecommunication equipment and devices from its three vendors -- Ericsson, Nokia and Samsung Electronics. The connection among equipment from the three different vendors paves the way for the mobile carrier to build its 5G infrastructure.
On October 24, SK Telecom announced that the mobile carrier succeeded in linking Samsung Electronics’ 5G non-standalone (NSA) switchboards with Nokia and Ericsson 5G base stations at a test bed in its Bundang building.
SK Telecom began work on making equipment from the three companies interwork immediately after selecting them as its partners. It completed the interworking project in about a month. This means that SK Telecom can build a single 5G network by linking different manufacturers' 5G equipment and devices. When manufacturers of base stations and switchboards are different, it is necessary for mobile carriers to optimize service quality by ensuring compatibility between them.
Since last year, SK Telecom has developed interoperability technology and standards to improve the quality of interworking among different 5G devices and machines with global telecom companies including AT&T and Orange. After the selection of three 5G equipment makers last month, SK Telecom began to apply and test technology in order to make 5G equipment of Samsung Electronics, Nokia, and Ericsson interwork and reached the goal in about one month.
In particular, the 5G NSA switchboard used in this interworking is a commercial device specially developed by SK Telecom and Samsung Electronics. Theoretically, the addition of 5G functions to an LTE switchboard can lead to building a 5G network in the 5G NSA standard. Furthermore, SK Telecom added 5G service-optimized NSA switchboards to enhance the stability and quality of 5G services.
wireless communications equipment market has a high entry barrier and different components of base station equipment are not compatible yet. This is why Huawei proposed replacing even 4G equipment with its own products to Korean mobile carriers if they buy 5G telecommunication equipment from Huawei. 5G services will be offered in the NSA system which can connect 4G and 5G services in its early commercialization stage. Then, they will need to be upgraded to be based on the 5G SA system.
SK Telecom also completed a 'first call’ which verified all processes in data exchanges in a commercial environment by linking Samsung Electronics’s 5G switchboards with 5G base stations of Nokia and Ericsson.