The Korean operator also signed a 5G-related deal with U.S. firm Qwilt

Korean telecom operator KT has signed a memorandum of understanding with US chipmaker Intel to develop an ecosystem for 5G technology.

KT said it will cooperate in delivering innovative solutions for 5G using Intel architecture. The Asian carrier will create a new platform to deliver 5G service by utilizing Intel’s mobile trial platform and processors.

KT also inked an agreement with U.S. company Qwilt to evaluate how open caching can enable efficient mobile content delivery on KT’s 5G network.

Under the terms of the deal, both companies will focus their cooperation on a proof of concept (PoC) and, later, a limited market trial of Qwilt’s open caching solution integrated with KT’s 5G Edge Platform.

“Over the past years, KT has pioneered technological innovations in South Korea,” said Lee YongGyoo, head of KT’s 5G business unit. “We will continue our efforts to make the country more productive with our advanced technological prowess, resources and know-how.”

“Qwilt’s Open Edge Cloud, a software-based edge computing solution, fits well into KT’s strategy to continue to invest in pioneering technology for its mobile network,” said Alon Maor, CEO and co-founder of Qwilt. “Our collaboration with open caching running on KT’s 5G Edge platform will demonstrate how we can bring the best content delivery performance to 5G wireless networks. We’re pleased to establish this partnership with KT and, working collaboratively together, bring compelling use cases to their 5G network,” he added.

Qwilt’s open cache solution is based on Streaming Video Alliance-approved specifications which were developed to allow all Content Delivery Networks (CDNs) to leverage open cache infrastructure deployed deep in ISP networks to lower latency, improve quality and enable new applications.

SK Telecom is actively working to launch commercial 5G services next year. Earlier this year, SK Telecom had formed a 200-member task force in order to speed up the process to launch commercial 5G services in the Asian country. The telco said the 5G task force includes staff from four major divisions ― MNO, media, internet of things (IoT)/data and service platforms.

Last month, South Korea’s three mobile operators had agreed to launch commercial 5G services at the same time to avoid unnecessary competition. SK Telecom, KT, and LG Uplus conformed they aim to launch commercial 5G services in March 2019.

South Korea has recently completed a tender process through which it awarded spectrum in both the 3.5 GHz and 28 GHz bands for 5G services. The government made available a total of 280 megahertz in the 3.5 GHz spectrum band and 2,400 megahertz in the 28 GHz band. The spectrum was divided into 28 blocks and 24 blocks.

Participant operators SK Telecom, KT, and LG Uplus had a 10 block cap per spectrum band.

The operators paid a total of 3.6183 trillion won ($3.3 billion) for the spectrum, 340 billion won higher than the starting price of 3.3 trillion won.

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