SK Telecom launches 5G edge computing open platform

South Korea’s largest mobile carrier is opening up its 5G mobile edge computing platform to third parties and enterprise customers.
Written by Corinne Reichert, Contributor

South Korean mobile carrier SK Telecom has launched its 5G Mobile Edge Computing Open Platform, which it will open up to third-party developers and enterprise customers.

SK Telecom will also provide open APIs on its MEC platform so that companies can develop their own edge computing 5G services.

"Enterprise customers can improve customers' quality of experience by connecting their service server or data centre to SK Telecom's MEC platform," SK Telecom said.

"For instance, through the application of MEC, a smart factory can enhance the response time of robots that run on 5G network."

Read also: SK Telecom says Galaxy S10 5G will have 2.7Gbps top speed in South Korea

5G edge computing reduces latency by around 60 percent due to small-scale data centres being installed at base stations or routers, according to SK Telecom.

SK Telecom said it is already in talks with Pokemon Go developer Niantic on using 5G MEC, as well as with cloud gaming companies, virtual reality services companies, and cloud providers.

Rival carrier KT last week similarly completed its construction of MEC centres in eight major South Korean cities, also applying its 5G core equipment in the control and user plane (CUPS) architecture, and in the network virtualisation technology of the MEC centres.

KT is planning to use its MEC centres to deploy smart factory, autonomous vehicle, and AR/VR services.

Last week, however, South Korea's plan to deploy 5G by March 2019 was revealed to be facing delays, due to industry players not being ready.

This included government and telcos failing to agree on 5G pricing plans, as well as 5G smartphones not being ready from Samsung and LG.

South Korea's Ministry of Science and ICT rejected SK Telecom's 5G price plan of 70,000 won ($62 per month) earlier this month, saying it was too high for consumers. The carrier said its plans will become more affordable as the number of 5G customers increase.

SK Telecom has also been working to develop 5G antenna technology and using 5G to prevent jaywalking. It excluded Huawei from its equipment vendor list in September last year, although South Korea's third largest carrier LG Uplus is using the Chinese networking giant for its 5G rollout.

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