In collaboration with Intel, SK Telecom (SKT) has successfully developed technology to reduce communication delays necessary for the evolution of 6G Core Network Architecture. The Core network is the gateway through which all voice and data traffic generated from a customer’s mobile device passes through to access the Internet network. It is a mobile communication service system that is responsible for security and service quality through the inter-connection of various systems.
Editor’s NOTE: Of course, 6G is currently undefined with only the features and functions being defined by ITU-R WP 5D which is meeting this week in Geneva. The 6G core network specifications will be done by 3GPP and NOT ITU-T as was the case for 5G core.
The 6G Core Architecture is required to have higher flexibility and safety than previous generations of wireless communications, and to provide stable AI service quality and technologies to customers by embedding intelligent and automation technologies.
As Core network technology continues to develop, the various systems that make up the network and the detailed functions that provide various services are also explosively increasing. As network complexity continues to increase, the process of sending and receiving messages is frequently recreated. Therefore, communication delays will increase compared to before. It is difficult to address these limitations with communication standard technologies (service communication proxies) for interconnection between unit functions within the existing Core network.
Inline Service Mesh, a low latency technology the two companies developed utilizing Intel Xeon processors with built in AI, is capable of increasing the communication speed within the Core network by reducing latency between unit function without Proxy.
Through this technology development, AI, which requires a large amount of computation, can be applied to the Core network in a wider variety of models. SKT has already commercialized a technology that reduces wireless resources by 40% and improves connectivity by analyzing movement patterns of real users in real time. Through this cooperation, the two companies will be able to reduce communication delays by 70% and increase service efficiency by 33% in the Core network through the application of the 6G Core Architecture.
SKT aims to apply the results of this study to commercial equipment next year. A technical white paper has been published by Intel that describes the technology, development process and benefits.
SKT and Intel have been continuing to cooperate for research on the development of key wired/wireless mobile communication technologies for the past 10 years. Based on the results of this study, the two companies plan to continue research and development for traffic processing improvement technologies incorporating AI technology in various areas of the Core network.
“We have made another technical achievement through continuous technology development cooperation with Intel to secure leadership in 6G,” said Yu Takki, Vice President and Head of Infra Tech at SKT. “We will continue our research and make efforts to commercialize AI-based 6G Core Architecture.”
“Our research and development efforts with SK Telecom continue to deliver innovations that have been deployed by Communications Service Providers worldwide”, said Dan Rodriguez, Corporate Vice President of Intel Network & Edge Solutions Group. “By leveraging the latest Intel Xeon processors with built in AI features, our companies are able to drive both performance and efficiency improvements that will be vital to the future Core networks.
Last March, SKT and NTT DOCOMO released a white paper addressing the requirements for future 6G networks.
The South Korean carrier said the new white paper contains its views on 6G key requirements and 6G evolution methodology, along with its opinions on the latest trends in frequency standardization. The 6G white paper also provides analysis, development directions and methodologies pertaining to promising 6G use cases, technology trends as well as and candidate frequencies.
The 6G White Paper reviews the following:
- Performance requirements and implementation scenarios for each frequency band, taking into account the characteristics of each frequency
- Issues concerning coverage and devices in high-frequency bands
- Standardization for migration to 6G architecture and application of cloud-native / open architecture
Korean telco SK Telecom and digital security firm Thales have tested quantum-resistant cryptography based on a 5G standalone (5G SA) network.
The end user identity on the 5G SA network is concealed and secured on the device side via the 5G SIM card. The security mechanisms involve cryptographic algorithms designed to resist attacks from future quantum computers, providing a level of security that is considered robust in the post-quantum era.
Photo Credit: rawpixel
The U.S. National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) has been leading an initiative to standardize post-quantum cryptographic algorithms, and SKT and Thales have used the Crystals-Kyber one for this successful real condition trial. These post-quantum secure algorithms are being developed to withstand attacks from both classical and quantum computers.
“This collaboration between SKT and Thales highlights our commitment to staying ahead of the curve in terms of cybersecurity and ensuring the safety of our customers’ data. PQC provides enhanced security through the use of cryptographic algorithms that are thought to be secure against quantum computer attacks. Going forward, we will combine PQC SIM with our additional Quantum expertise to achieve end-to-end quantum-safe communications,” said Yu Takki, Vice President and Head of Infra Technology Office of SKT.
“As quantum computers have the potential to break certain existing cryptographic algorithms, there is an emerging need to transition to cryptographic algorithms believed to be secure against quantum attacks. For 5G networks, Thales started to invest on cryptographic algorithms that are quantum-resistant to enhance continued communications security and privacy for users,” said Eva Rudin, SVP Mobile Connectivity & Solutions at Thales.
Separately, SK Broadband, an internet and paid TV service affiliate of SK Telecom, launched additional personalized internet protocol television (IPTV) services utilizing AI technology to enhance its competitiveness in the country’s paid TV market, the company said Wednesday.
About SK Telecom:
SK Telecom has been leading the growth of the mobile industry since 1984. Now, it is taking customer experience to new heights by extending beyond connectivity. By placing AI at the core of its business, SK Telecom is rapidly transforming into an AI company. It is focusing on driving innovations in areas of telecommunications, media, AI, metaverse, cloud and connected intelligence to deliver greater value for both individuals and enterprises.
Thales (Euronext Paris: HO) is a global leader in advanced technologies within three domains: Defence & Security, Aeronautics & Space, and Digital Identity & Security. It develops products and solutions that help make the world safer, greener and more inclusive.
SKT Develops Technology for Integration of Heterogeneous Quantum Cryptography Communication Networks
SK Telecom and Deutsche Telekom announced that they signed a Letter of Intent (LOI) to jointly develop a telco-specific Large Language Models (LLMs) that will enable global telecommunication companies (telcos) to develop generative AI models easily and quickly. The LOI signing ceremony took place at SK Seorin Building located in Seoul with the attendance of key executives from both companies including Ryu Young-sang, CEO of SKT, Chung Suk-geun, Chief AI Global Officer of SKT, Tim Höttges, CEO of Deutsche Telekom, Claudia Nemat, Board Member Technology and Innovation of Deutsche Telekome, and Jonathan Abrahamson, Chief Product and Digital Officer of Deutsche Telekom.
SK Telecom and Deutsche Telekom to Jointly Develop Telco-specific LLM
This marks the first fruition of discussions held by the Global Telco AI Alliance, which was launched by SKT, Deutsche Telekom, E&, and Singtel, in July 2023, and lays the foundation to enter the global market. SKT and Deutsche Telekom plan to collaborate with AI companies such as Anthropic (Claude 2) and Meta (Llama2) to co-develop a multilingual – i.e, German, English, Korean, etc. – large language model (LLM) tailored to the needs of telcos. They plan to unveil the first version of the telco-specific LLM in the first quarter of 2024.
The telco-specific LLM will have a higher understanding of telecommunication service-related areas and customer’s intentions than general LLMs, making it suitable for customer services like AI contact center. The goal is to support telcos across the world, including Europe, Asia, and the Middle East, to develop generative AI services such as AI agents flexibly according to their respective environment. That will enable telcos to save both time and cost for developing large platforms, and secure new business opportunities and growth engines through AI innovation that shifts the paradigm in the traditional telecommunications industry. To this end, SKT and Deutsche Telekom plan to jointly develop AI platform technologies that telcos can use to create generative AI services to reduce both development time and cost.
For instance, when a telco tries to build an AI contact center based on generative AI, it itself will be able to build one that suits their environment more quickly and flexibly. In addition, AI can be applied to other areas such as network monitoring and on-site operations to increase efficiency, resulting in cost savings in the mid- to long-term.
Through this collaboration, the two companies will proactively respond to the recent surge in AI demand from telcos, while also promoting the expansion of the global AI ecosystem through the successful introduction of generative AI optimized for specific industries or domains.
“AI shows impressive potential to significantly enhance human problem-solving capabilities. To maximize its use especially in customer service, we need to adapt existing large language models and train them with our unique data. This will elevate our generative AI tools,” says Claudia Nemat, Member of the Board of Management for Technology and Innovation at Deutsche Telekom.
“Through our partnership with Deutsche Telekom, we have secured a strong opportunity and momentum to gain global AI leadership and drive new growth,” said Ryu Young-sang, CEO of SKT. “By combining the strengths and capabilities of the two companies in AI technology, platform and infrastructure, we expect to empower enterprises in many different industries to deliver new and higher value to their customers.”
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South Korea’s antitrust regulator said it had imposed a total of 33.6 billion won ($25.06 million) in fines on three domestic mobile carriers for exaggerating their 5G network speeds. The Korea Fair Trade Commission (KFTC) said the three South Korean firms – SK Telecom Co Ltd, KT Corp, and LG Uplus Corp – had also unfairly advertised that they were the fastest relative to their competitors.
The authors concluded that instead of expecting that the new technology alone could create successful services, it would have been more effective to have collaborated with partners to build a broader 5G ecosystem.
Gap between 5G Vision Recommendations and customer expectations:
Although the usage scenarios and capability goals presented in the 5G Vision Recommendation are future goals to be achieved in the long term, misunderstandings have been created that can lead to excessive expectations of 5G performance and innovative services based on it from the beginning of commercialization. To prevent this misunderstanding from recurring in 6G, it is necessary to consider various usage scenarios of 6G, set achievable goals, and communicate accurately with the public. In particular, there were issues raised about the maximum transmission speed of 20Gbps, which was considered an icon of 5G key performance indicators. As 3G evolved into LTE, the radio access technology also evolved from WCDMA to OFDMA, and with the introduction of CA and multi-antenna technology, it became possible to use a much wider bandwidth than 3G. This can be seen as a ‘revolutionary’ improvement. On the other hand, 5G is considered as an ‘evolutionary’ improvement that supplements the performance of LTE based on the same radio access technology, CA, and multi-antenna system technology. Due to this, it was difficult to implement the increase in transmission speed shown in LTE in 5G at once. Moreover, the difference in technology perception was further revealed in the initial stage of 5G commercialization. Early commercialization was promoted for 5G, however, 5G required more base station compared to LTE to build a nationwide network due to frequency characteristics, requiring more efforts in terms of cost and time.
SK Telecom has made significant efforts to expedite 5G nationwide rollout, but customers wanted the same level of coverage as LTE in a brief period.
SK Telecom (SKT) today announced that for the first time in the world, it developed a technology that allows for integrated control and operation of quantum cryptography networks by integrating networks composed of equipment from different manufacturers via software-defined networking (SDN) and distributing quantum keys in an automated manner.
So far it was impossible to connect and operate quantum cryptography communication networks of different companies and countries. However, with SKT‘s new technology, quantum cryptography communication networks of diverse manufacturers, mobile operators and nations can be interconnected and co-operated.
The company said that it completed verification of the technology on the Korea Advanced Research Network (KOREN), a non-profit testbed network infrastructure operated by the National Information Society Agency (NIA) to facilitate research, test and verification of future network leading technologies and related equipment.
Based on the results of development and verification of the technology, SKT has been actively promoting standardization by sharing the case with global telcos.
To set international standards for the integration of quantum cryptography communication networks, SKT proposed two standardization tasks – i.e. ‘Control Interface of Software Defined Networks’ and ‘Orchestration Interface of Software Defined Networks for Interoperable Key Management System’ – to the European Telecommunications Standards Institute (ETSI), and they were chosen as work items by the ETSI industry specification group for QKD (ISG-QKD) in March 2023.
If approved as international standards, they will provide a technical basis for creating a large-scale network by interconnecting quantum cryptography communication networks built by many different operators. SKT plans to continue developing additional technologies for interworking of services between different operators/countries, as well as management of service quality.
Through these efforts, the company expects to strengthen the competitiveness of domestic companies and boost the quantum cryptography ecosystem both home and abroad.
Meanwhile, at this year’s IOWN Global Forum Workshop, SKT presented ‘Quantum Secure Interconnection for Critical Infrastructure,’ covering use cases for next-generation transmission encryption technology and proposal for a proof-of-concept (PoC) of quantum cryptography in All-Photonics Network (APN). The company also showcased its quantum cryptography communication technologies at 2023 MWC Barcelona.
“The two standardization tasks approved as work items by ETSI will boost the expansion of quantum cryptography communication in the global market,” said Ha Min-yong, Chief Development Officer of SKT. “We will work with diverse global players in many different areas to create new business opportunities in the global market.”
SK Telecom Co. Ltd. published this content on 05 April 2023 and is solely responsible for the information contained therein. https://www.sktelecom.com/en/press/press_detail.do?idx=1563¤tPage=1&type=&keyword=
Quantum cryptography communication transmits each bit of information as a single photon of light, which encrypts that information against eavesdropping or decryption. Telecom operators and vendors have been working for several years on integrating that level of encryption into networks.
For instance, Toshiba and the Tohoku Medical Megabank Organization at Tohoku University used quantum technology in 2018 to hit one-month-average key distribution speeds exceeding 10 Mb/s over installed optical fiber lines. They also used the technology to monitor the performance of installed optical fiber lines in different environments.
Toshiba later partnered with U.K.-based operator BT on using QKD across to secure a network transmission.
SK Telecom also has a long quantum history, including work with Swiss-based strategic partner ID Quantique, which focuses on quantum cryptography communication technology.
Industry trade group GSMA last year announced its Post-Quantum Telco Network Taskforce focused on supporting the industry’s creation of a roadmap to secure networks, devices and systems across the entire supply chain.” That work was initiated with IBM and Vodafone, and has since gained more than 45 members.
Lory Thorpe, GSMA Post-Quantum Telco Networks chairperson and head of IBM Consulting’s Telco Transformation Offerings, told SDxCentral last month that the core objective of the taskforce is to ensure the implementation of the right requirements and standards in a timely manner to avoid being “late to the party.” Thorpe explained the initial problem statement was “around how do we support the telco ecosystem to navigate the path to quantum safe.”
“When you look at where cryptography is used in telco systems, it impacts basically all of the different systems. But it also then impacts all of the standards that underpin these systems as well,” she said. “We’re advocating that people start planning, not panicking, but at least planning because … this isn’t something that just happens overnight.”
On February 27 at MWC Barcelona 2023, South Korean network operator SK Telecom (SKT) signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with Deutsche Telekom and T-Mobile US to jointly explore opportunities for expanding its metaverse platform ifland into Germany and the U.S.
Image Credit: SKT
The three companies will begin to conduct market tests in the U.S. and Germany in the second quarter of this year, with the main goal of the trials being to try “more diverse metaverse services in Europe and the U.S.”
SKT, Deutsche Telekom and T-Mobile US will also produce content tailored to local preferences, and will jointly promote the metaverse offering.
The ifland platform is also set to be made available to more countries in South East Asia, and the telco has agreed a partnership with its Malaysian partner CelcomDigi to boost its ifland user numbers in the country and develop new business models. It will also be made available to all 11 subsidiaries of Axiata operating in the ASEAN (Association of South-east Asian Nations) and South Asian regions, including Malaysia, Indonesia, Sri Lanka, Cambodia, Bangladesh and Nepal.
SKT and Axiata also plan to develop “metaverse platform-related business models” and create business opportunities based on artificial intelligence (AI) to enhance the competitiveness of these models.
By expanding its metaverse service into the Southeast Asian market, where Korean culture such as K-content is gaining popularity, SKT expects to expand ifland’s services and develop new business opportunities.
“As we advance into the global market with our metaverse platform ifland, major telecommunications companies in each country and region play an important role as our partners,” said Ryu Young-sang, CEO of SKT. “Going forward, we will continue to work closely with diverse global companies to expand the scope of our metaverse service.”
“The collaboration between the leading Malaysian telecoms operator serving more than 20 million customers and global ICT leader SKT will set the stage for the nation’s metaverse development, and drive growth and digitalisation within the digital economy,” said Datuk Idham Nawawi, CEO of CelcomDigi. “We look forward to working together on leveraging innovative technologies and practices particularly in virtual spaces to develop and deliver a wider range of innovative solutions for our customers and Malaysian businesses.”
“Axiata is deeply committed to leveraging emerging technologies towards the inclusive advancement of Societies and Economies across Asia,” said Dr Hans Wijayasuriya, CEO of Axiata. “We are proud to partner with SKT and the ifland platform and consider the partnership a significant component of our participation in the metaverse going forward.”
SKT pointed out that each of the three operator partners has more than 100 million customers, giving it a solid foundation on which to expand the international impact of ifland. The company’s CEO, Ryu Young-sang, pointed out that partnering with major telcos “in each country and region” plays a key role in advancing ifland’s influence, so it plans to continue working closely with global companies to broaden the scope of the service.
SKT’s metaverse platform launched in June 2021 and after an initial collaboration with Deutsche Telekom, it aggressively moved to global expansion across North America, Europe, the Middle East and Asia in November 2022.