SK Telecom reduces latency to 2 milliseconds for 5G

SK Telecom and Nokia successfully reduced latency between handsets and base station to 2 milliseconds over its LTE network as it draws closer to under 1 millisecond for 5G.

SK Telecom and Nokia have successfully reduced latency between the handset and base station to 2 milliseconds (ms) on its LTE network, the telco said.

SK Telecom said the 2ms latency technology will facilitate development of real-time services such as autonomous driving, AR, and VR services on the way to 5G.

The latency between handsets and base stations in current LTE networks is around 25ms or under. The International Telecommunication Union states that technologies designed for 5G must reach a peak data transfer rate of up to 20Gbps in latency under 1ms.

For autonomous driving, the lowered latency will allow seamless services that require real-time transmission of data, which is difficult for existing LTE networks.

In latency of 25ms in LTE networks, self-driving cars running at 150 kilometers per hour will travel an extra metre after receiving the stop signal, the telco said, while at 2ms, the car will move 8 centimetres before beginning to slow down.

The ultra-low latency will also help disaster relief robot control and monitoring of remote sites.

In February, SK Telecom successfully reached 3.6Gbps data transfer rate on a connected car running at 170 kilometers per hour. The telco said at the time that 5G is a must for connected cars as the super-fast data transfer rate will allow services that prevent accidents.

The telco also succeeded in trialing 5G roaming technology with Ericsson and Deutsche Telekom.

SK Telecom partnered with US carrier Verizon last year to co-develop 5G specs.

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