​Samsung, SK Telecom succeed in 4G, 5G link

The technology will allow 4G LTE network users to use 5G as soon as possible before it is widely deployed.
Written by Cho Mu-Hyun, Contributing Writer

Samsung Electronics and SK Telecom have succeeded in linking 4G and 5G networks, the companies have announced.

It is the first handover between 2.6GHz spectrum 4G LTE and 28GHz and 3.5GHz spectrum 5G networks, the companies said.

The technology, Multi-RAT Interworking, will allow faster commercialisation of 5G networks. Users of 4G networks will be able to switch back and forth between them as soon as 5G begins deployment.

The world's largest electronics maker by revenue and South Korea's largest mobile carrier built a 4G and 5G radio station and virtual core networks each using different frequency spectrum near the latter's headquarters in Euljiro, Seoul.

The companies installed a handset in a car that supports 4G and 5G. A 360-degree virtual reality video was also successfully streamed from SK's headquarters to the moving car.

The technology will allow usage of wide-range spectrum of under 6GHz in 5G for better coverage, which can be used for connected cars and Vehicle-to-X communications.

Earlier this month, SK Telecom and Nokia successfully reduced the latency between handset and base stations to 2 milliseconds on a LTE network, drawing closer to 5G's 1 milliseconds.

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.

In April, Samsung and SK South Korea's launched Korea's first LTE-R network for railroads, deployed to Line 1 of the Busan Metro.

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