SK Telecom said Samsung, Nokia and Ericsson will be the carrier’s preferred bidders for its 5G network

South Korean carrier SK Telecom has 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 selected the aforementioned three companies for the realization of the 5G ecosystem and world-class service quality,” the company said in a press release, adding that technological capability, as well as financial factors, were considered.

“SK Telecom has concluded the three companies possess the capability of leading relevant technologies amid cutthroat competition worldwide in taking the leadership in the 5G market.”

SK Telecom said these three vendors will supply base stations and other transmission equipment for the firm’s core 5G network.

With this move, SK Telecom became the first carrier among the three Korean mobile operators to select 5G equipment partners. Rival operators LG Uplus and KT said they are still in the process of selecting their 5G partners.

According to a recent report, LG Uplus is likely to select Chinese vendor Huawei to supply 5G equipment. LG Uplus’ COO had told reporters at June’s Mobile World Congress Shanghai that the company it would work with Huawei in building 5G infrastructure.

When building infrastructure for 4G LTE networks, SK Telecom and KT used equipment from Samsung, Ericsson and Nokia while LG Uplus used equipment from four suppliers including those three suppliers and Huawei.

In April this year, the 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. The initiative is expected to generate savings of nearly 1 trillion won over the next ten next years.

India’s DoTselects Cisco, Samsung, Nokia and Ericsson to carry out 5G trials

In related 5G news, India’s Department of Telecommunications (DoT) said it has selected Cisco, Samsung, Nokia and Ericsson to carry out 5G trials in the country, Indian press reported.

“We have written to Cisco, Samsung, Ericsson, Nokia and telecom service providers for partnerships in 5G technology-based trials, and have got positive response,” the Economic Times quoted telecom secretary Aruna Sundararajan as saying. “We have excluded Huawei from these trials,” the official added. According to the report, Chinese vendor ZTE was also excluded from the 5G trials.

“We are in regular touch with DoT and concerned government officials. The Indian government has always supported Huawei and has been appreciative of our path-breaking technologies and solutions,” Huawei said in a statement. Huawei also said it was confident showcasing its 5G technology would lead to a collaboration with the government and other ecosystem.

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