Samsung Electronics and SK Telecom have successfully tested interoperability between a 5G standalone (SA) core and a commercial network, the companies have announced.
The 5G SA core was jointly developed by the South Korean tech giant and mobile carrier, and supports network slicing and function modularisation based on 3GPP standards. It also supports billing, subscriber management, and operational convenience systems that are available in LTE networks.
The interoperability test is the final stage for verifying 5G SA data transmission before it is commercialised.
5G wireless networks have been commercialised in South Korea as of April, but current commercial networks rely on 5G non-standalone (NSA) standards which use both LTE and 5G equipment.
The standard for 5G SA, called Release 16 by the ITU, will likely be finalised in December this year, with deployment expected to begin shortly after.
Samsung and SK Telecom said they applied data parallel processing technology that performs quality of service and transmission control tests simultaneously on the core. They also applied data acceleration technology that classifies and distributes similar traffic types and path optimisation that automatically delivers data traffic to mobile edge computing platform.
They said 5G SA will process data three times faster than 5G NSA and will pave the way for autonomous cars, smart factories, and new AR and VR services.
Samsung in November last year vowed to gain over 20% market share of the 5G network equipment market by 2020.
The South Korean tech behemoth is currently the largest vendor for 5G equipment in its home country and plans to use that success to export its goods to other countries.
SK Telecom, Samsung Electronics, and Cisco will collaborate to develop and launch 5G-based smart office services.
SK Telecom and Seoul metropolitan government will install 5G-enabled ADAS on 1,700 buses and taxis to develop a real-time HD map in preparation for autonomous vehicles.
SK Telecom and the Korea Military Academy will develop 5G-based training programs for soldiers, such as VR shooting simulations akin to those seen in the movie Ready Player One.
SK Telecom has signed a series of MOUs to partner on smart cities, smart hospitals, smart offices, and self-driving infrastructure backed by its 5G mobile network in Korea.