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KT, SK Telecom form 5G standard alliance with Verizon, Docomo

South Korean telcos KT and SK Telecom have formed a 5G standard-setting alliance with the US's Verizon and Japan's NTT Docomo to develop an aligned 5G trial specification.
Written by Cho Mu-Hyun, Contributing Writer on

South Korean telcos KT and SK Telecom have formed an alliance with US's Verizon and Japan's NTT Docomo to set testing standards for fifth generation (5G) networks.

The telcos announced the formation of the 5G Trial Specification Alliance (TSA) at the Mobile World Congress (MWC) in Barcelona on Monday. The alliance will help network equipment makers design 5G equipment more efficiently, and allow the wireless industry to test key technical components.

The companies will set trial and service rollout dates together, as well as a common platform standard, which will go through extensive 5G wireless trials for reliability. Coordination is underway, with technical trials to occur between 2016 and 2018.

They will also analyse the pros and cons of over six gigahertz spectrum bands, which are expected to be used in time for the 2018 Winter Olympic Games in Pyeongchang, South Korea.

SK Telecom earlier this month announced it is cooperating with Swedish network equipment giant Ericsson to build a pilot 5G network this year.

Crowded sports event are perfect for telcos to show off their network powers; Telstra and Ericsson on Monday announced they will begin a trial run of Telstra's 5G network during the 2018 Commonwealth Games in Australia's Gold Coast.

South Korean telcos SK Telecom, KT, and LG Uplus are planning to commercialise 5G by 2020 -- though they said the rollout date could be earlier -- and are planning to display their networks at the 2018 Winter Olympic Games. KT said many of the 5G technology it is preparing for the Games will become basic standards used by the TSA.

SK Telecom and KT currently are at the MWC displaying their 5G download speeds -- at present reaching 25Gb per second -- at their respective booths.

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