Korean telco SK Telecom announced the launch of the ‘Global MEC Task Force’ with Bridge Alliance member operators, including Singtel, Globe, Taiwan Mobile and PCCW Global, for cooperation in 5G mobile edge computing (MEC).

Under this new partnership, SK Telecom will share its lessons-learned in 5G and MEC areas with other members that are preparing to launch 5G, while making joint efforts for the development of MEC technologies and services.

The Korean carrier will also play a leading role in setting international MEC standards to build an interoperable MEC platform, it said.

MEC is being highlighted as a key technology that can improve the performance of ultra-low latency services such as cloud gaming, smart factory and autonomous driving by creating a shortcut for mobile data communications, according to SK Telecom.

Through the task force, the carrier also said it expects to lead the expansion of the 5G MEC ecosystem to the Asian countries, and develop valuable overseas market opportunities for its 5G technologies and services, including MEC.

SK Telecom will be hosting the first MEC workshop with Bridge Alliance this week, at its headquarters located in Seoul, Korea. The workshop will identify potential regional MEC-based use cases and discuss business models and commercialization plans.

The company will introduce its 5G strategies, 5G MEC-based use cases including smart factory, and 5G clusters including eSports stadium LoL Park.

“As the global 5G pioneer, SK Telecom is committed to contribute to the expansion of the global 5G ecosystem,” said Lee Kang-won, VP and head of cloud labs for SK Telecom. “SK Telecom will work closely with Bridge Alliance Member Operators to help accelerate their progress in 5G and MEC, and create a pan-Asian 5G MEC ecosystem.”

“As the role of telecommunications companies is expanding beyond simply providing mobile connectivity to offering new values based on infrastructure, Bridge Alliance believes that this cooperation will serve as a key driver for realizing win-win business opportunities to all members,” said Ong Geok Chwee, CEO of Bridge Alliance.

South Korea, the U.S. to lead 5G market by end-2020: Study

In related news, a new study from Juniper Research highlighted that the U.S. and South Korea will be the fastest adopters of 5G in 2020.

The study found that the total number of 5G connections will reach 1.5 billion globally by 2025, rising from only 5 million in 2019. This is an annual average growth of 150% over the next 6 years.

The new study also found that 75% of all 5G subscribers will be attributable to these two countries by the end of 2020.

The research highlighted that pricing strategies from operators in the US and South Korea have aimed to rapidly migrate users to 5G networks by offering low cost connectivity. However, it warned that this strategy will prolong operators’ primary goal of securing a return on their substantial 5G investment.

The research noted that operators in other regions, such as Europe, have focused on maximizing early 5G revenue by applying premium pricing over 4G subscriptions. It urged operators in these regions to expand geographical 5G coverage via base station rollouts, in order to maximize the value proposition of 5G and justify the premium pricing.

“We expect 5G to be used for over 5 million broadband connections by the end of 2020. Operators will need to provide 5G whose bandwidth and latency matches or exceeds current Internet services. Otherwise, they risk missing out on this valuable new revenue stream,” said Juniper Research analyst Andrew Knighton.

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