GSMA: New Telco Edge Cloud Platform Project has 9 Telcos Participating

GSMA announced a new initiative to develop a common telco edge cloud platform for network operators. China Unicom, Deutsche Telekom, EE, KDDI, Orange, Singtel, SK Telecom, Telefonica and TIM are participating in the project.  It will make local network operator assets made available to developers and software vendors to bring their services closer to enterprise customers.

The inter-operable platform will be developed in 2020. The operators have agreed to work together to develop the edge compute architectural framework and reference platform, and the GSMA has launched an Operator Platform Project to support the initiative. Initially, the platform will be deployed across multiple markets in Europe, before expanding to other parts of the world.

Operators will offer through the platform edge compute, storage and connectivity to their customers. The GSMA said the open platform will ensure data protection and sovereignty mechanisms, while offering carrier-grade reliability, security and trustworthiness. It will leverage existing technology where possible, such as aggregation platforms like MobiledgeX, or the interconnection mechanisms developed as part of the GSMA MultiOperator MEC experience.

Telco Edge Cloud will:

  • Be open and inclusive
  • Provide data protection and sovereignty mechanisms
  • Offer carrier-grade reliability, security, trustworthiness
  • Leverage existing technology solutions; as appropriate, including, but not limited to, aggregation platform solutions such as MobiledgeX, or the interconnection mechanisms developed as part of the GSMA MultiOperator MEC experience.

“Operators are very well placed to provide capabilities such as low latency through their network assets,” said Alex Sinclair, CTO at GSMA. “It is essential for enterprises to be able to reach all of their customers from the edge of any network. Based on the GSMA Operator Platform Specification, Telco Edge Cloud will provide enterprise developers and aggregators with a consistent way to reach connected customers.”

“Edge cloud will build a unified network edge ecosystem, providing diversified and customised products and services, and multiple platform capabilities. It will also realise more extensive boundary-crossing cooperation to meet the requirements of digital transformation of various vertical industries,” said Xiongyan Tang, the Chief Scientist of China Unicom Network Technology Research Institute and the Chief Architect of China Unicom Intelligent Network Center, China Unicom.

“Edge Cloud has an exciting potential to enable and enhance many innovative experiences for our customers. I welcome this operator initiative to take ownership of the edge opportunity by joining forces to deliver our capabilities in a federated edge service,” said Claudia Nemat, Board Member Technology & Innovation at Deutsche Telekom. “Leveraging MobiledgeX as platform partner and aggregator in the federation puts operators on the best track to create scale, bring in the developer community and make a market impact.”

“Edge Cloud is a promising opportunity to enable the development of services that need low latency connection and to meet various service demands from enterprise customers. The innovation of telecommunication services will be accelerated by the enhancement of service quality and the customer experience in real-time applications such as cloud XR and cloud gaming,” said Yoshiaki Uchida, Member of the Board, Executive Vice President, Executive Director, Technology Sector at KDDI.

“To address the edge-cloud computing market, operators need to work very closely together to create an interoperable platform and to monetise their extremely valuable assets,” said Mari-Noëlle Jégo-Laveissière, Deputy Chief Executive Officer, Chief Technology and Global Innovation Officer, Orange. “We, at Orange, believe that it is a must-have to unleash new business opportunities enabled by both edge computing and 5G. That’s why we are proud to support the GSMA Telco Edge Cloud initiative.”

“We believe that a cross-border edge cloud platform which serves bandwidth needs and lower latency requirements, is what’s needed at this time as it allows organisations with multi-market operations to deploy and manage time-critical applications closer to where the data is collected. We look forward to collaborating with GSMA and the other telcos on this exciting initiative,” said Mark Chong, Group CTO of Singtel.

“Edge Cloud is a key enabler to unlock the full potential of emerging applications such as AR/VR, cloud robots, and smart factory with improved QoS, real-time intelligence, security and data privacy. In order to provide a seamless global MEC experience to our customers, it is critical that mobile operators around the world come together and join forces,” says Dr. Kang-Won Lee, Vice President and Head of Cloud Labs at SK Telecom. “SK Telecom is excited to collaborate with global partners, bringing our edge cloud experience and tech leadership to the team to realise the vision of mobile edge cloud.”

“The market needs an Edge Cloud that meets the enterprise demands to service their customers. Telecom operators are in an extremely good position to provide a trusted and open Edge Cloud, so enterprises can maximise their service offering and business opportunities being as close as needed to their customers,” said Enrique Blanco, Group CTO, Telefonica.

“Edge Cloud is a fundamental asset for the new requirements of many business segments and customers,” said Elisabetta Romano, Chief Innovation & Partnership Officer, TIM. “Edge Cloud will be a formidable enabler to transform the network from a “bit pipe” to an effective digital business platform, thanks to flexible computing capacity and low access latency to computing resources.”

Geoff Hollingworth, CMO of MobiledgeX, told RCR Wireless News that he has been very close to the company’s collaboration with the GSMA/operator initiative. He said that the goal of the program is to build an operator edge platform that presents a solution “as homogenous as possible” to the enterprise market, in the same way that the mobile industry has presented global messaging and data solutions.

“They want to fast-track that in the industry, as much as possible into the real world,” he said. Enterprises, Hollingworth went on, need easy access to high-performance, cloud-native computing close to where they need that data processed, whether it’s in a country where their products are manufactured or perhaps where they are used, or both. He said there is more than one model for providing that, such as a form of aggregated networks where local operators are paid for being part of it and running workloads locally, or via something similar to roaming agreements between operators for so-called “east-west interfaces” that allow access to local edge computing resources. He expects both to be explored in the GSMA initiative.

“It’s purely a question of agreeing to roll out in a way that actually meets the needs of the real customers,” he added. MobiledgeX, Hollingworth said, has been in conversations with operators around the world as it seeks to build its own edge computing platform footprint, and he said it has a good handle on just what enterprise customers and application developers need and brings that knowledge to the table as part of its participation in the GSMA Operator Platform Project.

Edge use cases, he went on, always begin with one thing in common: a large volume of data that is very information-rich, that needs to be interpreted in real-time, probably by artificial intelligence; and then resulting insights need to be transmitted both locally to make an immediate change, and to a larger big-data engine for longer-term processing. MobiledgeX sees that such data streams are often coming from video cameras being used as IoT sensors and requiring vast, fast image processing capabilities. Even in the case of lower-data-intensive IoT sensor capabilities, Hollingworth said, those capabilities are increasingly being built into products and solutions that enterprises are buying—but they’re not being turned up, even if the companies would like to use them, because the enterprises can’t cope with the volume of information that would result. Globally available, easily accessed edge computing resources could change that.

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The GSMA Operator Platform Project:
The GSMA’s Operator Platform Project intends to develop a framework for operators to expose and monetise their network capabilities. Operators will offer through the Operator Platform edge compute, storage and connectivity to their customers leveraging:

  • their existing relationships with enterprises who already have use cases requiring edge,
  • their vast local footprint/real estate,
  • an inimitable position for stringent security and data privacy, residency, sovereignty and
  • the organisational competence from the experience of providing highly reliable (five nines) services over a distributed and capillary network environment.

Cloud capabilities will be treated as a subset of edge.

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About the GSMA:
The GSMA represents the interests of mobile operators worldwide, uniting nearly 750 operators with almost 300 companies in the broader mobile ecosystem, including handset and device makers, software companies, equipment providers and internet companies, as well as organisations in adjacent industry sectors. The GSMA also produces industry-leading events such as Mobile World Congress, Mobile World Congress Shanghai, Mobile World Congress Americas and the Mobile 360 Series of conferences.

For more information, please visit the GSMA corporate website at www.gsma.com. Follow the GSMA on Twitter: @GSMA.

Media Contacts:
For the GSMA

GSMA Press Office
pressoffice@gsma.com

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Addendum: 

SKT Forms Global Alliance with 9 Telcos on 5G Mobile Edge Computing

SK Telecom Co., South Korea’s largest mobile carrier, said Sunday it has formed an international alliance with nine telecommunication firms to develop 5G mobile edge computing (MEC) technologies and services.

SK Telecom said Telecom Edge Cloud TF was established with nine other companies at a GSMA meeting in London last week. Its members include Deutsche Telekom AG of Germany, KDDI Corp. of Japan and EE Ltd. of Britain.  The TF aims to have global commercialization of 5G MEC by sharing each member’s technology and service know-how.

MEC is a key technology in delivering ultra-low latency data communication in 5G networks that allows companies to offer better solutions in cloud gaming, smart factory and autonomous driving.  It aims to minimize latency by providing a “shortcut” — which can be completed by installing small-scale data centers at 5G base stations — for data transmission.

SK Telecom has been one of the active players in the mobile industry to develop 5G MEC solutions.  In January, the company formed Global MEC TF with five Asian telecommunication firms to develop 5G MEC technologies and services.

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References:

Telecom Operators Collaborate to Build the Telco Edge Cloud Platform with GSMA Support

https://www.telecompaper.com/news/gsma-unites-telcos-on-common-enterprise-edge-cloud-platform–1328319

Nine operators join forces on global edge computing, with GSMA’s support

https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/10-things-you-should-know-telco-edge-compute-philip-laidler

https://siliconangle.com/2019/12/13/computing-explodes-network-edge-cloud-providers-telcos-jockey-lead/

https://mobiledgex.com/assets/resources/stl/what-edge-developers-want-from-telcos-now—final.pdf

SK Telecom: Over-the-Air Transmission on Multi-Vendor Commercial Stand Alone 5G Network

SK Telecom today announced that it has successfully accomplished the world’s first standalone (SA) 5G data session on its multi-vendor commercial 5G network in South Korea.

Editor Notes:

1.  T-Mobile claimed they were the first carrier to successfully test 5G SA operation which we covered in this article:  T-Mobile Claim: 1st Standalone 5G Data Session on a Multi-Vendor Radio and Core Network.

2.  Definition: 5G Stand Alone (SA) refers to using 5G specifications (in cells/base stations and endpoints) for both signalling and information transfer.  All 5G deployments to date use NSA operation which uses 4G-LTE signaling and 4G-Evolved Packet Core (EPC) as well as LTE network management

SA operation requires the new 5G Packet Core (5GC) architecture from 3GPP instead of relying on the EPC to allow the deployment of 5G without the LTE network.

Ericsson provides 5G Standalone 5G facts:

  • New cloud-native 5G Core
  • Simplified RAN and device architecture
  • The only option to provide same 5G coverage for low band as legacy system
  • Supports advanced network-slicing functions (not standardized yet – may be in 3GPP Release 16)
  • Facilitates a wider range of use cases for new devices
  • Brings ultra-low latency  (that won’t happen to completion of 3GPP Release 16 in June 2020 if then)

3. South Korea was the first country in the world to launch 5G services and currently has some of the most wide ranging 5G networks anywhere in the world.  That’s largely due to government co-ordination with the three large South Korean wireless network operators – SK Telecom, KT and LG Uplus.

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With this major breakthrough in 5G, SK Telecom says it is now fully set to provide standalone 5G services. SK Telecom said that it plans to launch the world’s first 5G SA service in the first half of this year.

The standalone 5G data call took place on January 16, 2020 in Busan, the second largest city in Korea, using SK Telecom’s commercial 5G network deployed in that region.

To achieve this standalone 5G milestone, the company applied standalone 5G New Radio (NR) software to its existing non-standalone (NSA) 5G base stations, and completed multi-vendor interoperability between network equipment of Ericsson and Samsung.

SK Telecom has also applied key 5G technologies such as network slicing and mobile edge computing (MEC) to its standalone 5G network. Network slicing is being highlighted as an essential technology for providing optimal support for different types of 5G services by partitioning a single physical network into multiple virtual mobile networks. MEC minimizes latency by providing a shortcut for data transmission through installation of small-scale data center at 5G base station or router. MEC can improve the performance of ultra-low latency 5G services such as cloud gaming, smart factory and autonomous driving.

“With the successful standalone 5G data call on our multi-vendor commercial 5G network, we are now standing on the threshold of launching standalone 5G service, a key enabler of revolutionary changes and innovations in all industries,” said Park Jong-kwan, Vice President and Head of 5GX Labs of SK Telecom. “SK Telecom will offer the best 5G networks and services to realize a whole new level of customer experience in the 5G era.”

About SK Telecom

SK Telecom (NYSE: SKM) is the largest mobile operator in Korea with nearly 50 percent of the market share. As the pioneer of all generations of mobile networks, the company has commercialized the fifth generation (5G) network on December 1, 2018 and announced the first 5G smartphone subscribers on April 3, 2019. With its world’s best 5G, SK Telecom is set to realize the Age of Hyper-Innovation by transforming the way customers work, live and play.

Building on its strength in mobile services, the company is also creating unprecedented value in diverse ICT-related markets including media, security and commerce.

For more information, please contact skt_press@sk.com or sktelecom@bcw-global.com.

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Related—Big 3 Korean carriers vow to offer seamless telecom service during lunar new year:

Korea’s big three mobile network operators have committed to provide “seamless” connectivity over the Korean Lunar New Year festivities, according to reports in the Korean press.

SK Telecom, KT and LG Uplus all committed to provide extra capacity in their networks over the Seollal period, as Koreans travel home for the holiday, placing extra strain on the country’s networks, particularly in public spaces such as train stations and along the country’s roads.

“To respond to possible data traffic jams, LG Uplus checked out base stations for 4G and 5G networks and will run an emergency situation room. We will also increase the number of technicians for highly-populated areas such as airports,” the company told journalists from the Korea Times.

SK Telecom predicted that it would see a 24 per cent hike in data traffic over the holiday period, as vacationing Koreans make use of high demand services like UHD video streaming and geolocation services. SK Telecom identified 750 busy areas that will receive special attention over the period, while KT said that it would be proactively managing traffic in 970 locations across the country.

All three mobile network operators have said that they will have more technicians and service staff working over the holiday to help them cope with the increase in demand.

Image result for SK Telecom 5G Stand Alone

Technicians of SK Telecom check network quality at an airport, Sunday. Photo Courtesy of SK Telecom

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LG Uplus will also run an emergency response center at its office in Magok, western Seoul during the holiday.

The company has completed inspections of 4G and 5G base stations installed at highway rest areas, SRT and KTX train stations and bus terminals throughout the country.

“To respond to possible data traffic jams, LG Uplus checked out base stations for 4G and 5G networks and will run an emergency situation room. We will also increase the number of technicians for highly-populated areas such as airports,” the company said.

KT designated 970 places including highways, department stores, bus terminals, airports, train stations and other busy areas in the country as data quality management zones.

South Korea was the first country in the world to launch 5G commercial services with the big three wireless carriers doing so on the same day.

References:

https://www.commsmea.com/tech

nology/infrastructure/21305-korean-operators-band-together-to-bolster-4g-and-5g-connectivity-over-lunar-new-year

https://www.koreatimes.co.kr/www/tech/2020/01/133_282175.html

Samsung acquires network services provider TWS; SK-Telecom launches Global MEC Task Force

1.  Samsung Acquires Network Services Provider TeleWorld Solutions to Accelerate U.S. 5G Network Expansion

Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd. today announced the completion of an agreement to acquire TeleWorld Solutions (TWS), a network services provider headquartered in Chantilly, VA.

Teleworld Logo

TWS provides network design, testing and optimization services to mobile service and cable operators, equipment OEMs and other companies across the U.S. With network builds associated with 5G and 4G LTE enhancements advancing in the U.S, the acquisition will address the need for end-to-end support in delivering network solutions.

TWS, a privately owned company, will operate as a wholly owned subsidiary of Samsung Electronics America, Inc. The service offerings and customers of TWS complement Samsung’s growth among networks infrastructure clients. With competencies in radio frequency (RF) and network design service—as well as installation, testing, and optimization services—TWS will continue to serve its existing customers and clients they currently support with Samsung. The TWS leadership team will continue to manage the business and, together with Samsung, address the network upgrade cycle occurring in the US.

With a growing position in the US networks industry, along with its 5G technology leadership, Samsung Networks has collaborated with major U.S. network operators to fulfill 5G’s network expansion. As its growth continues through network operator agreements and enterprises seeking their own cellular networks, the combination of Samsung and TWS will help customers address next-generation demands.

https://news.samsung.com/us/samsung-acquires-tws-teleworld-solutions-network-services-provider-5g-network-expansion/

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2.   SK Telecom Joins Forces with Bridge Alliance Members for Cooperation in 5G MEC

SK Telecom today announced the launch of the ‘Global MEC Task Force’ with Bridge Alliance member operators, including Singtel, Globe, Taiwan Mobile and PCCW Global, for cooperation in 5G mobile edge computing (MEC).

SK Telecom will share its lessons-learned in 5G and MEC areas with other members that are preparing to launch 5G, while making joint efforts for the development of MEC technologies and services. The company will also play a leading role in setting international MEC standards to build an interoperable MEC platform.

MEC is being highlighted as a key technology that can improve the performance of ultra-low latency services such as cloud gaming, smart factory and autonomous driving by creating a shortcut for mobile data communications.

Through the task force, SK Telecom expects to lead the expansion of the 5G MEC ecosystem to the Asian countries, and develop valuable overseas market opportunities for its 5G technologies/services including MEC.

As the first chair of the task force, SK Telecom will be hosting the first MEC workshop with Bridge Alliance from January 13 to 15 at its headquarters located in Seoul, Korea. The workshop will identify potential regional MEC-based use cases, and discuss business models and commercialization plans.

The company will introduce its 5G strategies, 5G MEC-based use cases including smart factory, and 5G clusters including ‘LoL Park.’

“As the global 5G pioneer, SK Telecom is committed to contribute to the expansion of the global 5G ecosystem,” said Lee Kang-won, Vice President and Head of Cloud Labs of SK Telecom. “SK Telecom will work closely with Bridge Alliance Member Operators to help accelerate their progress in 5G and MEC, and create a pan-Asian 5G MEC ecosystem.”

“As the role of telecommunications companies is expanding beyond simply providing mobile connectivity to offering new values based on infrastructure, Bridge Alliance believes that this cooperation will serve as a key driver for realizing win-win business opportunities to all members,” said Ong Geok Chwee, CEO of Bridge Alliance.Photo: (from left) Ha Min-yong, VP and Head of Global Alliance Group, SK Telecom, Ong Geok Chwee, CEO of Bridge Alliance, and Lee Kang-won, VP and Head of Cloud Labs, SK Telecom.

For more information, please contact skt_press@sk.com or sktelecom@bcw-global.com

https://www.sktelecom.com/en/press/press_detail.do?page.page=1&idx=1439&page.type=all&page.keyword=

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SK Telecom top winner at Global Telecoms Awards in London, UK

South Korean network operator SK Telecom’s early success in 5G helped it win three awards at the Global Telecoms Awards (GLOTEL Awards), held on November 7 in London, UK.  SK Telecom received awards in the categories of ‘5G Implementation Excellence,’ ‘Best Operator,’ and ‘BSS/OSS Transformation Excellence.’

SK Telecom was also highly commended in the consumer IoT and fixed network categories, bringing its awards total on the night to five. Other notable performers were Huawei, with two wins and a highly commended, and ZTE with one win and two highly commended.

With the aim to provide customers with the best 5G service quality, SK Telecom has deployed the fastest and widest 5G network in Korea, arming it with quantum cryptography technologies and an AI-based network management system named TANGO (T Advanced Next Generation OSS). Moreover, by combining its 5G with cutting-edge ICT, the company has introduced a wide range of powerful solutions including 5G-AI Machine Vision, 5G Live Golf Broadcast, AI Video Security and 5G-based Cooperative Intelligent Transportation System.

“I feel confident in saying that this was the strongest set of entries to the awards we’ve had yet,” said Telecoms.com Editor Scott Bicheno (pictured above with Chang-min Park of SK Telecom), who hosted the awards alongside comedian Miles Jupp and was also one of the judges. “Our judges had a really tough job choosing between so many great products, services and projects this year and for that I thank them. The fact that so many entries were highly commended shows how close the scoring was. My congratulations to the winners and thanks everyone who contributed to our best awards yet.”

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Here’s the complete list of winners:

5G Implementation Excellence  

Winner – SK Telecom: World’s First 5G Commercialization

Advancing Artificial Intelligence               

Winner – Telefónica: Aura

Highly Commended – Nokia: AI as a Service for CMCC Hainan

Automation Initiative of the Year             

Winner – Huawei: AUTIN

Best 5G Innovation         

Winner – Vodafone Germany: Automotive Factory of the Future

Highly Commended – China Mobile, China Southern Power and Huawei: Smart Grid 5G Slice Operation and Monetization

Best Digital Transformation Project        

Winner – Infosys and Vodafone UK: Digital Platform

Highly Commended – Singtel: Unboxed

Best Operator    

Winner – SK Telecom

Highly Commended – Reliance Jio Infocomm

BSS/OSS Transformation Excellence        

Winner – SK Telecom: OSS Evolution for E2E integration and 5G Business

Connecting the Unconnected     

Winner – Ufinet: Rural connectivity case studies

Consumer IoT Initiative of the Year         

Winner – O2 and Accenture: Making UK homes smarter energy users

Highly Commended – SK Telecom: V2X Service Enabler (VSE)

Digital Transformation Innovation          

Winner – BT: The Digital Business Marketplace

Highly Commended – Netcracker: Digital Transformation Solution

Fixed Network Evolution             

Winner – Turkcell: Customer Oriented Failure Prioritization and Complaint Management

Highly Commended – SK Telecom: Giga Premium 10G Residential Broadband Internet Service

Ground-breaking Virtualization Initiative            

Winner – AT&T: Edge Solutions

Industrial IoT Initiative of the Year          

Winner – Dialog Axiata: Affordable and Purpose-built IoT Solutions for Industries in Emerging Markets

Highly Commended – ZTE:  ZTE NMVP Solution

Innovating in the Cloud 

Winner – MYCOM OSI: The Assurance Cloud

Managed Services Innovation of the Year            

Winner – Ericsson and Telenor: Common Delivery Center for innovative Managed Services model

Highly Commended – Saudi Telecom Company: STC Fixed Network Customer Operations Service transformation

Mobile Device Innovation           

Winner – Reliance Jio Infocomm: JioPhone

Mobile Money Mastery 

Winner – AsiaHawala and Comviva: AsiaHawala powered by mobiquity Money

Most Innovative Cloud Service  

Winner – Tata Communications Transformation Services: Cloud Networking and Security as a Service

Highly Commended – Red Hat: Red Hat open hybrid cloud technologies

Project Delivery Perfection         

Winner – ZTE: ZTE for China Mobile ‘He-Fetion’ Project

Highly Commended – X by Orange: X by Orange with Red Hat

Security Solution of the Year      

Winner – Mobileum Signalling Firewall

Highly Commended – CUJO AI: AI-powered cybersecurity technology

Telecoms Transformation            

Winner – Huawei: NFV-SDN based telco cloud technology initiative

Highly Commended – ZTE: 5G Slicing Wholesale Solution for New B2B2C Business Model

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About SK Telecom

SK Telecom is the largest mobile operator in Korea with nearly 50 percent of the market share. As the pioneer of all generations of mobile networks, the company has commercialized the fifth generation (5G) network on December 1, 2018 and announced the first 5G smartphone subscribers on April 3, 2019. With its world’s best 5G, SK Telecom is set to realize the Age of Hyper-Innovation by transforming the way customers work, live and play.

Building on its strength in mobile services, the company is also creating unprecedented value in diverse ICT-related markets including media, security and commerce.

For more information, please contact: skt_press@sk.com or sktelecom@bcw-global.com

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SK Telecom wins big at the 2019 Global Telecoms Awards

SK Telecom and Samsung Electronics MOU for 8K TV connected via a 5G Network

SK Telecom (SKT) today announced that it signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with Samsung Electronics to jointly develop and commercialize the world’s first 5G-8K TV.  SKT said the 5G-8K TV will revolutionize users’ television-watching experience by directly receiving 8K video over SK Telecom’s ultra-low latency and ultra-wideband 5G network.

SKT launched its 5G service simultaneously with its rival Korean cellular carriers in early April.  Korea’s largest mobile operator by subscribers said it reached the 1 million 5G subscriber milestone on 21 August.

*8K (7680×4320 resolution) is the highest resolution currently in existence, a fourfold enhancement of UHD standard.

SK Telecom plans to apply Mobile Edge Computing and Network-Based Media Processing to its pre-standard 5G network to realize seamless transmission of 8K video. Samsung Electronics will apply its 8K AI Upscaling and next-generation codec technologies to upgrade full HD and UHD images to 8K resolution. The company will also equip 8K TVs with 5G dongles to support direct transmission of 8K resolution video content.

Park Jin-hyo, second from left, who heads SK Telecom’s ICT Technology Center, and Lee Hee-man, right, who heads Samsung Electronics’ VD Service PM Group, with other officials after signing a MOU to develop 8K TV powered by 5G networks. / Courtesy of SK Telecom.

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Viewers will be able to watch video content of POOQ* and oksusu at 8K resolution.

*POOQ is an over-the-top video subscription service offering programs on terrestrial TV. It is a joint platform of Korea’s terrestrial broadcasters.

The two companies have also agreed to jointly evolve 5G-8K TV further to deliver a new user experience by working together in the areas including eSpace, SK Telecom’s hyper-space platform for replicating the real world in cyberspace, and 5G Sero TV, a 5G-based television that can be rotated both horizontally and vertically to provide a smartphone-like UX for TV users.

Moreover, they plan to develop B2B business models in areas of smart office and digital signage by adding 5G connectivity to televisions and displays.

SK Telecom introduced technologies related to ‘5G connected screen’ at an MPEG held in July 2019 and was designated as the NBMP (Network Based Media Processing) chair company to lead international standardization of 5G connected screen related technologies. To this end, SK Telecom will newly open Hyper Media Lab under its ICT R&D Center.

“The 5G-8K TV is the culmination of ultra-low latency 5G networks combined with ultra-high definition TV technology,” said Park Jin-hyo, Chief Technology Officer and Head of ICT R&D Center at SK Telecom. “5G technology will help make the world of hyper media a reality.”

Samsung Electronics will utilize artificial intelligence features that upscale lower-quality content to appear close to 8K resolution.  Samsung will equip its 8K TV with a small piece of hardware, called a dongle, to support wireless reception of 8K images. 

SK Telecom Launches 5G AR and VR Services for eSports

SK Telecom today announced the launch of three 5G AR and VR services – ‘Jump AR’, ‘LCK* VR Live Broadcasting’ and ‘VR Replay’ – to offer a more realistic and immersive experience when watching eSports games.

‘Jump AR’ is an augmented reality service that teleports users to an eSports stadium, LoL Park, through their smartphone screens. When accessing the ‘Jump AR’ app, a ‘virtual portal’ to LoL Park in Seoul appears on the screen. If users take a few steps towards the virtual portal, they are transported to the virtual LoL Park.

By moving their smartphones around, users can get a 360-degree view of LoL Park’s interior, leave AR messages of support, watch greeting videos of players, and also read messages left by other eSports fans.

SK Telecom applied a hyper-immersive space platform and real-time tracking technology to allow users to freely navigate the virtual LoL Park. Users can also take fan selfies through 3D facial recognition and realistic AR rendering technologies.

LCK VR Live Broadcasting’ allows users to watch eSports players close-up through the 360-degree VR cameras installed in LoL Park while enjoying the cheers from actual audience in real time.

‘VR Replay’ is a new eSports video content that provides highlights from the perspective of characters in the game. By wearing VR headsets, users can watch 360-degree battle scenes from characters’ point of view. SK Telecom applied an advanced technology that combines separate scenes into a 360-degree video content.

The company provides ‘LCK VR Live Broadcasting’ and ‘VR Replay’ through ‘SKT-5GX’ section of ‘oksusu.’

The esports arena within the LoL Park, set up by Riot Games in Seoul, can seat 400 spectators, but tickets are frequently sold out early, the Korean telecom firm said, noting that its new AR and VR services will allow esports fans to enjoy games anywhere with smartphones if they fail to obtain tickets.

The Jump AR service offers users the experience of being teleported down to the esports arena, providing a 360-degree view.

The VR Replay offers highlight scenes of games from the perspective of game characters. Wearing a VR headset, users can enjoy an immersive viewing experience as if they are in the middle of the battlefield in the games.

The VR on-the-spot live broadcast enables users to watch players at close range through 360-degree VR cameras installed at the esports arena.

“With new 5G immersive technologies, SK Telecom has realized unprecedented eSports broadcasting services and content,” said Jeon Jin-soo, Vice President and Head of 5GX Service Business Division of SK Telecom. “We will continue to develop innovative 5G services to offer immersive experiences for customers.”

Models promote SK Telecom’s AR and VR services designed to offer more immersive viewing experiences for esports fans at LoL Park in Seoul in this photo provided by the mobile carrier,  PHOTO Courtesy of SK Telecom

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About SK Telecom

SK Telecom is the largest mobile operator in Korea with nearly 50 percent of the market share. As the pioneer of all generations of mobile networks, the company has commercialized the fifth generation (5G) network on December 1, 2018 and announced the first 5G smartphone subscribers on April 3, 2019. With its world’s best 5G, SK Telecom is set to realize the Age of Hyper-Innovation by transforming the way customers work, live and play.

Building on its strength in mobile services, the company is also creating unprecedented value in diverse ICT-related markets including media, security and commerce.

For more information, please contact skt_press@sk.com or sktelecom@bcw-global.com.

Media Contact

Yong-jae Lee

SK Telecom Co., Ltd.

(822) 6100 3838

yjlee6880@sk.com

Irene Kim

SK Telecom Co., Ltd.

(822) 6100 3867

gahaekim@sk.com

Ha-young Lee

BCW Korea

(822) 3782 6421

Hayoung.Lee@bcw-global.com

SK Telecom with Swisscom: World’s First “5G” Roaming Service

SK Telecom announced today that it will begin the world’s first 5G roaming service [1] from midnight KST on July 16 through a strategic partnership with Swisscom, the largest telecommunications provider in Switzerland.

Note 1.  Not only is there no standard for “5G’ roaming (or even signaling.control plane), but there are no standards for anything related to 5G radio and non radio aspects.  Hence, this “5G’ roaming agreement is specific to these two carriers.  They have obviously agreed on a roaming/handoff spec for 5G NR (3GPP Rel 15) in the data plane and LTE signaling in the control plane.

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Swisscom, which boasts over 6 million mobile subscriptions, started to roll out its 5G network on April 17th. The company currently provides 5G service in 110 cities and villages including Zurich, Geneva and Bern as well as rural and touristic areas.

SK Telecom’s customers using Samsung Galaxy S10 5G smartphone will be able to use 5G roaming service through Swisscom when visiting Switzerland after upgrading their devices with the latest software update. In the future, SK Telecom plans to provide software upgrades to LG V50 users and further expand 5G roaming service to other countries around the globe.

“SK Telecom once again proved its leadership in advanced roaming technology with the launch of world’s first 5G roaming service” said Han Myung-jin, Vice President and Head of MNO Business Supporting Group of SK Telecom. “We will continuously expand our 5G roaming service to enhance customer experience and benefits.”

Meanwhile, with the aim to enable its customers to make and receive high-quality, free-of-charge international roaming voice calls while travelling to 171 countries across the world, SK Telecom launched ‘baro’ on December 17, 2018. As of June 2019, ‘baro’ has attracted 2.2 million users and 38 million cumulative calls (total of 800,000 hours of voice calls). Moreover, ‘baro’ won the ‘Best Mobile Technology Breakthrough in Asia’ award at the 2019 Asia Mobile Awards held as part of MWC19 Shanghai.

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About SK Telecom:

SK Telecom is the largest mobile operator in Korea with nearly 50 percent of the market share. As the pioneer of all generations of mobile networks, the company has commercialized the fifth generation (5G) network on December 1, 2018 and announced the first 5G smartphone subscribers on April 3, 2019. With its world’s best 5G, SK Telecom is set to realize the Age of Hyper-Innovation by transforming the way customers work, live and play.

Building on its strength in mobile services, the company is also creating unprecedented value in diverse ICT-related markets including media, security and commerce.

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For more information, please contact:

skt_press@sk.com or sktelecom@bcw-global.com.

About Swisscom:

Swisscom, Switzerland’s leading telecoms company and one of its leading IT companies, is headquartered in Ittigen, close to the capital city Berne. Outside Switzerland, Swisscom has a presence on the Italian market in the guise of Fastweb. About 20,000 employees generated sales of CHF 2’860 million to the end of the 1st Quarter 2019. It is 51% Confederation-owned and is one of Switzerland’s most sustainable and innovative companies.

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Media Contacts:

Yong-jae Lee

SK Telecom Co. Ltd.

(822) 6100 3838

(8210) 3129 6880

yjlee6880@sk.com

Irene Kim

SK Telecom Co. Ltd.

(822) 6100 3867

(8210) 8936 0062

gahaekim@sk.com

Ha-young Lee

BCW Korea

(822) 3782 6421

Hayoung.Lee@bcw-global.com

SK Telecom and Samsung Bring South Korea Closer to 5G Standalone Commercialization

The two companies successfully completed interoperability test between 5G Standalone Core and Commercial Network Solutions (based on 3GPP Release 15 which is not 3GPP’s final submission to ITU-R for IMT 2020 RIT/SRITs.

SK Telecom and Samsung Electronics today announced the successful completion of South Korea’s first interoperability assessment between 5G Standalone (SA) Core and other commercial network systems over a pre-standard 5G network. This successful result brings the two companies one step closer to 5G SA commercialization.

The 5G SA Core, jointly developed by SK Telecom and Samsung Electronics, not only supports technologies including network slicing and function modularization based on 3GPP standards, but also offers additional functions that operators have been using since LTE, include billing, subscriber management and operational convenience system. The interoperability assessment is the final stage for verifying the validity of 5G SA data transmission, signifying that the SA system is ready to be launched for commercial service.

Both companies implemented several cutting-edge technologies in the 5G SA Core that has been used for the interoperability. The technologies include Data Parallel Processing technology that performs QoS and transmission control simultaneously; Data Acceleration technology that classifies and distributes similar traffic types; and Path Optimization technology that automatically delivers data traffic to Mobile Edge Computing (MEC) platform.

“Along with the initial phase of NSA rollout, SK Telecom has been continuously focusing on researching and developing the SA technology in order to provide customers a differentiated service quality with innovative products, which will be launched in the first half of next year,” said Park Jin-hyo, Chief Technology Officer and Head of ICT R&D Center at SK Telecom. “By strengthening bilateral collaboration with Samsung, SK Telecom will drive and lead highly innovative 5G technologies and solutions.”

“The fundamental structure of 5G SA is built on a completely new configuration, successfully delivering the most optimized 5G service to customers and enterprises across numerous industries,” said Jaeho Jeon, Executive Vice President and Head of R&D, Networks Business at Samsung Electronics. “Maintaining Korea’s leadership in network innovations through continuous investments in next-generation technologies is important to Samsung and SK Telecom, and the companies will continue to collaborate on developing and commercializing 5G SA.”

Once 5G SA is commercialized, data processing efficient will be improved by threefold, allowing efficient control for supporting massive data traffic. Moreover, 5G SA system is highly optimized for emerging next generation services such as Autonomous driving, Smart Factory, Smart Farm, and AR/VR.

For the past five years, the two companies have been collaborating on LTE and 5G development, which ultimately led to this successful 5G SA Core interoperability test. Some of other accomplishments include the commercialization of Virtualized LTE Core and Packet Optimization system; and they have completed the development of 3GPP Rel. 15 based SA Core in July last year, and successfully launched 5G NSA commercial service in April this year.

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About SK Telecom:

SK Telecom is the largest mobile operator in Korea with nearly 50 percent of the market share. As the pioneer of all generations of mobile networks, the company has commercialized the fifth generation (5G) network on December 1, 2018 and announced the first 5G smartphone subscribers on April 3, 2019. With its world’s best 5G, SK Telecom is set to realize the Age of Hyper-Innovation by transforming the way customers work, live and play.

Building on its strength in mobile services, the company is also creating unprecedented value in diverse ICT-related markets including media, security and commerce.

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For more information, please contact:

skt_press@sk.com or sktelecom@bcw-global.com.

 

Media Contact

Yong-jae Lee

SK Telecom Co. Ltd.

(822) 6100 3838

(8210) 3129 6880

yjlee6880@sk.com

Irene Kim

SK Telecom Co. Ltd.

(822) 6100 3867

(8210) 8936 0062

gahaekim@sk.com

Ha-young Lee

BCW Korea

(822) 3782 6421

Hayoung.Lee@bcw-global.com

 

SK Telecom completes live TV broadcast over its 5G network

As a follow on to yesterday’s IEEE techblog on Korea 5G and ideal content, SK Telecom has completed the first live TV broadcast over its commercial 5G network and live broadcasting solution.

The operator ushered in 2019 with a live broadcast of Korea’s largest New Year’s event at the Bosingak pavilion in Seoul from around 11 minutes starting at midnight Korea Standard Time.

The live broadcast used SK Telecom’s T Live Caster live broadcasting solution, which the network operator has developed over a four year period.  T Live Caster is designed to enable live broadcasting of video taken by smartphones over channels including TV and personal broadcasting over 5G anThe  video taken by smartphone cameras installed with the T Live Caster app and connected to connected to a 5G mobile router was transmitted through 5G stations and entertainment channel XtvN’s transmission system for cable and IPTV viewers of the channel.   

The video was taken by smartphone cameras installed with the T Live Caster app and connected to 5G mobile routers and transmitted through 5G base stations and XtvN’s transmission system to cable and IPTV viewers of XtvN.

Despite the highly congested data environment, the video was transmitted at a latency of less than one second, comparable to that of existing wired broadcasting systems.

“With today’s successful live TV broadcasting over commercial 5G network, SK Telecom ushers in a new era of 5G-based media services,” SK Telecom SVP and head of 5GX IoT/Data Group Choi Nak-hoon said.

“In this new era, individual creators will be able to provide high-quality live broadcast anytime, anywhere, via 5G smartphones.”

South Korea has successfully switched on commercial 5G network on the first day of December, officially marking the era of high-speed network. The country’s No.1 mobile carrier has become the first to make a commercial 5G video call, using a prototype Samsung smartphone.

SK Telecom’s 5G network currently covers main areas of 13 cities and counties nationwide, including Seoul, four cities in Gyeonggi-do (Seongnam, An-san, Hwaseong, Siheung), six metropolitan cities, Seogwipo in Jeju Island, and Ullengdo and Dokdo Islands in Ulleng county.

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SK said it plans to continue to enhance the quality of T Live Caster to UHD and interconnect the solution to personal broadcasting platforms within the year.

Plans also call for tapping into the drone broadcasting market. Last June, SK Telecom struck a partnership with drone manufacturer DJI to jointly develop a drone video surveillance solution.

SK’s blog about the event didn’t identify the suppliers of the 5G network infrastructure.

Sk telecom(Telecommunication&Convergence) - Sensors, Wireless network, Business solutions, Network R&D, M2M, Smart devices, Coble network, Individual marketing. SK planet(Service Platform) - Commerce, NFC, LBS, Media. SK hynix(Hardware) - Memory, Semiconductor. -> New Growth Engine - Ict convergence, R&BD, Education, Healthcare

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References:

https://www.globalskt.com/home/info/2482

https://www.fiercewireless.com/wireless/sk-telecom-touts-live-tv-broadcast-over-commercial-5g-network

 

 

SK Telecom partners with MobiledgeX for Edge Computing; Ericsson video call over SK Telecom 5G test network

  1.  SK Telecom, the largest mobile operator in South Korea, announces an agreement to partner with MobiledgeX to enable a new generation of connected devices, content and experiences, creating new business models and revenue opportunities leading into 5G (?).

    “In the 5G era, Mobile Edge Computing will be a key technology for next-generation industries including realistic media and autonomous driving,” said Jong-kwan Park, Senior Vice President and Head of Network Technology R&D Center of SK Telecom. “Based on this partnership, SK Telecom will continue to drive technology innovations to provide customers with differentiated 5G services.”

    The relationship between SK Telecom and MobiledgeX reflects an aligned vision for the future of mobile operators as key players in future mobile application development, performance, security, and reliability. This vision is shared by leading cloud providers and device makers working with MobiledgeX to seamlessly pair the power and distribution of mobile operator infrastructure with the convenience and depth of developer tooling of hyperscale public cloud and the scale, mobility and distribution of billions of end user devices.

    Deutsche Telekom created MobiledgeX as an independent company to drive strategic collaboration across the world’s leading telecoms, public cloud providers, device makers and the surrounding ecosystem – enabling a new era of business models, operating efficiencies and mobile experiences. We are particularly excited to announce SK Telecom‘s participation in this collaborative ecosystem where everybody wins. SK Telecom is a global leader in 5G which follows their rich tradition of innovation within their network, strategic partnerships and developer engagement. This new era is underway,” says Eric Braun, Chief Commercial Officer of MobiledgeX.

MobiledgeX and SK Telecom executives hold up their respective copies of a memorandum of understanding between the two companies to jointly develop mobile edge computing applications. (SK Telecom)

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MobiledgeX is focused on delivering developer-facing edge cloud services and bringing mobility to those services, dynamically placing application back-end as close to mobile devices as possible and removing them when not needed. MobiledgeX, Deutsche Telekom and Intelhave partnered with Telecom Infra Project (TIP) to form an Edge Application Developer project group (see here) to ensure the gained insights and supporting source code are available to all. This is a new opportunity for everyone presented as a consequence of $2 trillion of CAPEX investment in network infrastructure over the past 10 years and the virtualization of the network from the central offices to the towers.  MobiledgeX is building a marketplace of edge resources and services that will connect developers with the world’s largest mobile networks to power the next generation of applications and devices. MobiledgeX is an independent edge computing company founded by Deutsche Telekom and headquartered in Menlo Park, California.

References:

https://mobiledgex.com/press-releases/2018/12/12/sk-telecom-partners-with-mobiledgex

https://www.fiercetelecom.com/telecom/sk-telecom-and-mobiledgex-join-hands-mobile-edge-computing

Separately, SK Telecom said it will comply with the IoT Security Guidelines proposed by GSMA for the safe usage and expansion of IoT networks.

 

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  1.   Ericsson video call over SK Telecom’s 5G test network:

Ericsson and SK Telecom have conducted a video call over the operator’s live 5G test network, the latest milestone in a long-running partnership.

On this occasion, the companies used 100 MHz of 3.5-GHz spectrum, marking the first time that so much spectrum in this band has been used in a field test. SK Telecom used Ericsson’s commercial radio equipment, based on the 5G New Radio (NR) standard. Ericsson also supplied a test device equipped with Qualcomm’s Snapdragon x50 5G modem. As well as a video call, SK Telecom also demonstrated streaming via a 5G data session.

As has been well documented, South Korea is pushing hard to be a frontrunner on 5G, which might explain Ericsson’s keen involvement with SK Telecom’s research and trials. The two companies have been at the forefront of testing out network slicing, where an access network is subdivided into virtual partitions, with the parameters of each one tailored to meet the requirements of specific services, from low-bandwidth massive IoT connectivity, to low-latency, high-throughput A/VR services. Ericsson and SK Telecom have also trialled multi-vehicular 5G trials in partnership with BMW.

Another explanation for Ericsson’s close involvement with SK Telecom might have something to do with Samsung. The Korean vendor missed the boat on 4G when it backed WiMAX instead of LTE, but it is making a concerted effort to not be left out of 5G. Last year, it unveiled its end-to-end 5G portfolio, and it has struck important partnerships and supply deals, including with SK Telecom, Telefonica, and Verizon.

With South Korea expected to be among the first movers when it comes to 5G commercialisation, Ericsson will want to make sure SK Telecom’s network is adorned with as much of its equipment as possible.

Alex Jinsung Choi, CTO and Head of Corporate R&D Center, SK Telecom, said:

“5G will offer much more than just faster data speeds. It will serve as a true enabler for a whole new variety of powerful services that deliver unprecedented value to customers. Today’s demonstration of 5G-based connected car technologies marks the very first step towards achieving fully autonomous driving in the upcoming era of 5G.”

The test environment was realized by using an Ericsson 5G field trial network. It consists of multiple radio transmission points on 28GHz frequency band to cover the entire track and one user equipment installed in every car. The trials showed consistent Gbps-level throughput with a few millisecond latency. Uninterrupted connectivity, using beam tracking and beam transfer across the different transmission points at speeds exceeding 100 kilometers per hour is also achieved. The performance shown enables multiple connected car use cases such as augmented and virtual reality, obstacle control and vehicle to vehicle communication, based on a system solution including radio and core network infrastructure from Ericsson.

Thomas Norén, Head of Product Area Network Products, Ericsson, said:

“Ericsson is working with leading operators and ecosystem players to drive the realization of 5G – both with today’s pre-standard field trials, and through standardization activities along with global standards bodies and industry groups. The trial takes a step closer to 5G technology and commercialization, especially for connected vehicle applications.”

The trial simultaneously implements new key 5G capabilities with multi-site, multi-transmission point, MU-MIMO, and with multiple devices operating in the millimeter wave frequency band. It demonstrates beam tracking and beam mobility between different 5G access points, at high mobility.

https://www.ericsson.com/en/news/2018/12/sk-telecom-qualcomm-and-ericsson-collaborate-on-5g

https://www.mobileworldlive.com/asia/asia-news/skt-makes-5g-video-call-on-3-5ghz-band/