SK Telecom announced on March 7 that it would transfer its world-class 5G telecommunication technology and know-how in infrastructure management to Guam and Saipan.
SK Telecom has agreed to cooperate with IT&E to provide 5G services in Guam and Saipan. IT&E offers telecoms services in Guam and the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands (CNMI). SK Telecom has invested US$31.2 million in IT&E in 2018, becoming its second largest shareholder.
SK Telecom and IT&E agreed to team up to commercialize 5G services in Guam and Saipan in the second half of this year by adopting the fixed wireless access (FWA) system that can replace wired services. FWA technology provides high-speed wireless telecommunication services.
The two companies decided to provide 5G services through the FWA system after analyzing local wired infrastructure, geographical characteristics, home users’ and corporate customers' needs. They believe that the FWA system is effective in replacing vulnerable wired services in local areas, particularly in terms of speed and cost.
In addition, the absence of high-rise buildings in Guam and Saipan will make it easier for SK Telecom and IT&E to expand coverage effectively with radio frequency in the 28GHz band. IT&E has secured the 28GHz band as a 5G frequency and aims to commercialize 5G services for the first time in Guam and Saipan.
The two companies are planning to launch 5G services initially in areas with heavy foot traffic, for corporate customers and in areas with poor fixed line infrastructure and widen coverage step by step.
SK Telecom plans to transfer its know-how in designing, building and operating 5G networks.