Deutsche Telekom and SK Telecom Sign Strategic Cross-Investment Agreement in MobiledgeX and ID Quantique

Deutsche Telekom and SK Telecom today entered into a cross investment agreement to further strengthen their competitiveness in 5G and deepen their cooperation in the global market. With this agreement, the two market leaders of Korea and Germany continue their strategic partnership announced at Mobile World Congress 2016.

Under the agreement, SK Telecom plans to invest in MobiledgeX, an edge computing company founded by Deutsche Telekom and headquartered in Menlo Park, California, focused on delivering developer-facing edge computing services. Deutsche Telekom plans to invest the same amount to ID Quantique (IDQ), SK Telecom’s strategic partner in quantum cryptography communication technology based in Switzerland.

Mobile EdgeX is developing a middleware platform that will enable third-party developers to run their applications on edge computing platforms, is also now at the heart of an open source effort that is part of the Telecom Infra Project (TIP) and which is being backed by DT and Intel. (See TIP Forms New Edge Computing Unit.)

Other operators have shown interest in MobiledgeX, including Vodafone and Verizon, while Telefónica has included the Menlo Park, Calif.-based startup’s tech in a distributed cloud architecture initiative called CTpd.

Deutsche Telekom and SK Telecom intend to use mobile edge computing technologies to reduce data transfer time, latency and jitter.  With mobile edge computing, companies can conduct on-site monitoring of disaster-affected areas and respond faster to accidents.

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Deutsche Telekom CEO Tim Höttges and Park Jung-ho, President and CEO of SK Telecom, announced the cooperation in Seoul, South Korea.

Going forward, SK Telecom and Deutsche Telekom plan to share their technologies and knowhow. The two companies made their cross-investment decision to gain leadership in the upcoming era of 5G by offering specialized 5G services with ultra-low latency in areas like telemedicine as well as AR and VR, while addressing potential security threats.

“SK Telecom is pleased to enter into a cross-investment agreement with Deutsche Telekom as it will serve as a valuable opportunity for us to further solidify our 5G leadership in the global market and drive new growth,” said Park Jung-ho, President and Chief Executive Officer of SK Telecom.

“We look forward to intensifying our successful cooperation with SK Telecom. The partnership will help both companies to strengthen our global technology leadership and bring 5G and other innovative services to our customers,” stated Timotheus Höttges, CEO of Deutsche Telekom.

Unlike the pre-5G era, which was mainly about communication between people, the 5G era will be marked by communication between people and things, as well as communication between things (IoT), which will support intelligent services like connected car, smart factory and wearable devices.

Earlier this month, the German carrier said it expects to launch commercial 5G services in 2020. In May 2018, Deutsche Telekom announced the deployment of the first 5G antennas to test the technology in downtown Berlin. The antennas, which are based on 5G New Radio, allowed Deutsche Telekom to demonstrate what it claimed to be Europe’s first 5G data connection over a live network. The telco said that it is currently in the process of deploying a 5G cluster in Berlin.

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Separately, Deutsche Telekom is reviewing the idea of adopting quantum cryptography communication systems. Both SK Telecom and Deutsche Telekom are currently in the process of qualifying quantum cryptography technologies on their respective trial networks.

Deutsche Telekom will make an investment in ID Quantique, a Switzerland-based strategic partner of SKT. The start-up is focused on the development of quantum cryptography communication technology, an innovation designed to increase the security of telecoms services.  ID Quantique’s applications are already being tested in trial networks deployed by both Deutsche Telekom and SKT.

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Note that in February  2016, Deutsche Telekom and SK Telecom entered into a strategic business partnership agreement to collaborate in the fields of services, Internet of Things (IoT) and related R&D areas.  With the aim to strengthen their capabilities as ICT industry leaders and to achieve new growth through joint business opportunities in Asian and European Markets, SK Telecom and Deutsche Telekom will cooperate in the global sales of innovative solutions and products and work together to lead standardization of innovative technologies, including 5G enabling technologies and SDDC (Software-Defined Data Center).

Under the 2016 partnership agreement, the two companies will pursue joint R&D activities to develop cutting-edge technologies – including 5G  enabling technologies – and push for their standardization (where – in ITU-R WP5D for IMT 2020?), while actively taking a part in diverse global projects to drive ICT infrastructure innovations.

In particular, through development of key 5G technologies such as network slicing and mobile edge computing, the two companies  plan to drive standardization and implementation of 5G, and identify 5G key applications.

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References:

https://www.rcrwireless.com/20181023/5g/deutsche-telekom-sk-telekom-ink-cross-investment-deal-towards-5g

https://www.lightreading.com/the-edge/deutsche-telekom-to-swap-startup-investments-with-sk-telecom/d/d-id/746992?

3 thoughts on “Deutsche Telekom and SK Telecom Sign Strategic Cross-Investment Agreement in MobiledgeX and ID Quantique

  1. SK Telecom, the largest mobile operator in Korea, today announced that it successfully tested interworking between 5G Non Standalone (NSA) Core equipment developed by Samsung, Nokia and Ericsson.

    Since last year, the company has been working closely with global mobile operators, including AT&T and Orange, at 3GPP and NGMN to develop interfaces for interoperability between diverse multi-vendor 5G network equipment. Moreover, after selecting Samsung, Ericsson and Nokia as the preferred bidders for 5G equipment on September 14, 2018, SK Telecom has made aggressive efforts to apply and test the interfaces to achieve multi-vendor interoperability within the shortest period possible.

    SK Telecom can now install base stations of Nokia and Ericsson within the coverage of Samsung’s 5G Core, which means that it can deploy a more flexible 5G network with greater efficiency.

    The 5G NSA Core used for the trial has been specially developed by SK Telecom and Samsung Electronics. Theoretically, 5G NSA standard allows for operators to deploy 5G network by adding 5G features to the existing LTE core equipment. SK Telecom has decided to also deploy new 5G NSA Core to further enhance both stability and quality of its 5G service.

    “SK Telecom continues to lead the industry in 5G by successfully achieving multi-vendor equipment interoperability based on 3GPP standard,” said Park Jin-hyo, Executive Vice President and Head of ICT R&D Center at SK Telecom. “We will continue to make efforts to launch commercial 5G network that offers the highest quality and stability.”

  2. South Korea’s top mobile carrier SK Telecom teamed up with Samsung Electronics to develop technologies which are needed to provide stable 5G-based services such as the transmission of ultra-high-definition video files, augmented reality and autonomous driving.

    The two companies agreed to develop “Mobility Enhancement”, a technology to improve the quality of customer experience, and a solution to expand coverage in the 28GHz (gigahertz) bandwidth. Samsung has been selected as a 5G equipment provider.

    In the 28GHz bandwidth, the transmission of large-capacity data is possible, but the service area of a base station is limited because of a short reach distance The 3.5GHz bandwidth is advantageous for the construction of a nationwide network because of wide coverage. If both frequencies are used together, a large amount of data can be transmitted over a large area.

    Technology and telecom companies are in the race to commercialize 5G networks, which are vital for the telecom renaissance to be brought by the Fourth Industrial Revolution. South Korean firms are trying hard to commercialize a 5G mobile network ahead of other countries.

    Based on standalone standards, SK Telecom has developed core technology for a 5G device to process data transmission between base stations and internet networks. The advantage of standalone is simplification and improved efficiency, but the first wave of 5G networks and devices will be non-standalone using 4G infrastructure.

    In October, SK Telecom successfully carried out the so-called “First call” with Samsung’s non-standalone 5G equipment to check if data is being normally transmitted or received.

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