Jin-Hyo Park, SVP, Head of Network R&D Center, SK Telecom is delivering a keynote speech on SK Telecoms LTE Advanced innovations on Day One of the 9th annual LTE Asia conference, taking place on the 23rd-25th September 2014 at the Marina Bay Sands, Singapore. Here he gives us an overview of SK Telekom’s latest innovation on its cutting-edge LTE network.
What was the original thinking behind the creation of your winning entry?
SK Telecom’s LTE and LTE-Advanced subscribers have already surpassed 55 per cent of the company’s total subscriber base, and the company holds more than 47 per cent of market share for LTE and LTE-Advanced market in Korea. To provide more advanced and faster LTE services to customers, SK Telecom has continuously upgraded its LTE and LTE-Advanced networks by commercializing carrier aggregation technology, adding more frequency channels, and expanding network coverage.
How do you plan to improve it even further?
To further enhance customer experience, in June 2014 SK Telecom commercialized the world’s first “20MHz + 10MHz” LTE-Advanced providing up to 225Mbps network speed using the ‘Galaxy S5 225Mbps LTE-Advanced’ handset. The company is also paving the way for 300Mbps LTE-Advanced service by aggregating three component carriers. To this end, it has already developed and demonstrated LTE-Advanced tri-band CA technology. SK Telecom also commercialized Uplink CoMP for the first time in the world in April 2014, and plans to further enhance the quality of its existing LTE and LTE-Advanced networks by completing the technology developments for eICIC and TM9 this year.
If you win the award, how do you expect your business to benefit?
Winning the prestigious LTE Award would be a great honor for SK Telecom as well as all device/system/chipset manufactures that worked together for the world’s first commercialization of 225Mbps LTE-Advanced. SK Telecom, together with business partners that created a great ICT ecosystem have been making ceaseless efforts to develop cutting-edge network technologies to provide customers with better, faster and more stable services. The LTE Awards will be an encouragement for SK Telecom and the ICT ecosystem to carry on with its efforts to create a more connected world filled with communication services that bring users with greater convenience and benefits through brining new network technologies. We also believe that satisfaction level of our LTE/LTE-Advanced customers which account to 55 per cent of the total subscriber base will go up.
What do you think will be the defining challenge of LTE for the rest of 2014 and 2015?
The launch of faster LTE-Advanced networks have given birth to a wide range of heavy data services, which in turn is resulting in massive surges in data traffic. Therefore, in order to ensure seamless, stable and ultra-fast data communications for data-hungry users, it is imperative that operators keep developing innovative technologies capable of enhancing network capacity and performance. In this context, SK Telecom aims to commercialize tri-band Carrier Aggregation that provides up to 300Mbps network speed by aggregating 20MHz bandwidth in the 1.8GHz band, 10MHz bandwidth in the 800MHz band and another 10MHz in the 2.1GHz band, while applying other LTE-Advanced technologies including eICIC and TM9 to its commercial network.
At the same time, SK Telecom has focused on identifying core technologies for the next-generation network, 5G, through diverse partnerships with global vendors including Ericsson and Nokia, and participation in various initiatives including 5G Forum in Korea. Furthermore, as the number of IoT devices keeps increasing, we believe 225Mbps LTE-Advanced is necessary to accommodate the increasing amount of IoT traffic with different traffic patterns. Additionally, our system has already been fully prepared to implement IPv6 in the mobile environment, and the service validation is underway. Moreover, SK Telecom plans to build a separate centre for virtualization optimized for security and accommodation of IoT traffic using NFV solutions.