The demo used a mobile smartphone form-factor test device powered by the Qualcomm Snapdragon X50 5G modem

Ericsson, SK Telecom and Qualcomm Technologies said they have successfully carried out a 5G New Radio data call on mid-band spectrum over SK Telecom’s 5G commercial network in Busan, South Korea.

The 5G field demonstration used a broader bandwidth on a commercial frequency, which was made available for operators in South Korea on December 1. The demo included a video call and streaming using SK Telecom’s 5G commercial network, Ericsson’s commercial Ericsson Radio System products and a mobile smartphone form-factor test device powered by the Qualcomm Snapdragon X50 5G modem and antenna modules with integrated RF transceiver, RF front-end and antenna elements.

The data call transmitted over bandwidth of 100 MHz on 3.5 GHz spectrum, the companies said.

“SK Telecom is proud to make the first 5G video call in our Busan 5G commercial network with Ericsson’s commercial radio equipment and Qualcomm Technologies’ mobile smartphone form-factor test device. This call was based on NR, over-the-air connection with 100 MHz of bandwidth in 3.5 GHz spectrum, which is a significant milestone for the mobile industry. SK Telecom will launch 5G commercial services with 5G smartphones, built on the collaborative work with Ericsson and Qualcomm Technologies, in the first half of 2019,” said Jongkwan Park, SVP and head of 5GX Labs, ICT R&D Center at SK Telecom.

“Ericsson and SKT have a close cooperation around 5G innovation and have been working on bringing the technology to commercial reality since 2016. Now we have taken another important step with SKT and Qualcomm Technologies in this multi-vendor technology demonstration on a broader bandwidth, which will benefit consumers and enterprises alike. We will continue to work closely with SKT’s teams to realize the commercial launch of their next-generation network,” said Per Narvinger, head of product area networks at Ericsson.

Ericsson is providing the Korean carrier with 5G NR radios, baseband, and network management systems for its 5G commercial network launch. In September, SK Telecom had selected Samsung Electronics, Nokia and Ericsson as preferred bidders for its 5G network equipment ahead of the launch of commercial 5G services in March 2019. SK Telecom said these three vendors will supply base stations and other transmission equipment for the firm’s core 5G network.

In April this year, Korea’s three mobile operators announced plans to share the costs for the deployment of a nationwide 5G network in the Asian nation. The initiative reportedly will be carried out by SK Telecom, KT, LG Uplus as well as broadband operator SK Broadband. This shared infrastructure projects had the main aim of avoiding redundant investment in 5G deployments, according to government officials.


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