Posts tagged ‘Korea’

Interview: Director, enterprise strategy research department, Korea Telecom: “Companies that can extract useful information from big data will be potential market-leaders.”

Mi-Young Ko, director of enterprise strategy, research department, Korea Telecom

Mi-Young Ko, director of enterprise strategy, research department, Korea Telecom

Mi-Young Ko, director of enterprise strategy, research department, Korea Telecom, Korea is speaking on Day Two of the LTE Asia conference, taking place on the 18th-19th September 2013 at the Suntec, Singapore. Ahead of the show we gain his insight into how big data is changing the decision making landscape for telcos.

How can data analytics make a difference to enterprise mobile strategy?

As smart devices such as smartphone and tablet PC have become more common, the amount of useful data that includes personally identifiable information has dramatically increased. In this so called ‘Smart IT’ era, the social networking service and ‘lifelog’ data (lifelog : an individual’s daily life stored in the digital space) are all combined together. Due to this, the influence of big data is increasing.

Big data offers differentiated strategic achievements in the areas as below.

1) The accuracy of predictions can be increased as data is automatically updated

2) User’s hidden needs can be effectively discovered through new pattern from customer’s daily life.

3) The range and accuracy of risk control can be increased through providing qualitative information.

4) Customised services can be provided by differentiating individual data.

5) Real-time monitoring makes immediate responses to customer and business needs possible.

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Interview: CTO of SK Telecom: “LTE has become the global mainstream service.”

SKT_CTO_PHOTO_s

Jae W. Byun, CTO of SK Telecom

Following the successful LTE Awards 2013, we speak to Jae W. Byun, CTO of SK Telecom, regarding the company’s award for winning the ‘Most Significant Development of a Commercial LTE Network’ award.

Tell us more about your LTE Awards 2013 entry.

SK Telecom has continuously developed and commercialised diverse innovative network technologies to provide the best LTE service to customers. Since launching Korea’s first LTE network using the 800MHz frequency band in July 2011, SK Telecom completed its nationwide LTE rollout in June 2012. It is now providing seamless LTE service in underground and in-building areas as well as mountainous regions and coastal/island areas through the world’s first commercialisation of LTE femtocells in June 2012. Furthermore, after acquiring 1.8GHz frequency band, SK Telecom developed and applied the world’s first Multi Carrier (MC) to offer faster and more reliable LTE service through effective operation of the two frequency bands (800MHz and 1.8GHz) in July 2012. Moreover, based on its strong network, SK Telecom achieved the world’s first commercialisation of nationwide VoLTE in August, 2012.

What do you think made your entry stand out from the crowd?

SK Telecom was able to differentiate itself from others by developing and applying breakthrough LTE technologies, securing the richest LTE smartphone line-up and providing a wide variety of mobile value-added services optimised for the LTE network. Based on such efforts, the number of SK Telecom’s LTE subscribers grew rapidly to reach about 11 million (as of the end of June 2013), taking it up to around 40 per cent of SK Telecom’s total mobile subscriber base.

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Interview: CEO, Ustream Korea: “Content can be created and shared by all in real time and it will change the world.”

Jimmy Kim, CEO, Ustream Korea

Jimmy Kim, CEO, Ustream Korea

Jimmy Kim, CEO, Ustream Korea & SVP, Korea Telecom, Korea is speaking on Day One of the LTE Asia conference taking place on the 18th-19th September 2013 at the Suntec, Singapore. Ahead of the show we speak to him about what makes Ustream unique, how he sees the impact LTE will have on its growth potential and what the benefits local operator partnerships will bring.

Tell me all about Ustream, and what makes it such a unique proposition?

Ustream is a global leading live platform service company. It originally focused on live broadcasting but has accumulated many relationships, references and gained experience of live services. However the most important thing is that Ustream encapsulates a full ecosystem taking in content provider, broadcast equipment, software companies and production teams worldwide. Live broadcasting is not easy one; it needs lots of proper equipment and software for each scenarios. We have developed a great relationship with many relevant companies regarding broadcasting infrastructure and the application of online live services.

The beauty of Ustream is that is a scalable and proprietary platform. Our engine efficiently ingests more video per minute than any competitors by a wide margin. The platform’s flexibility and global scale enables us to respond to market demand, while maintain the highest levels of reliability. We can support over two million concurrent viewers on a single broadcast stream. A total of 15 million broadcasters are using Ustream for their own live broadcasting every month to an audience 70 million viewers in over 190 countries. There are more than 10,000 channels broadcasting over Ustream at any time worldwide.

You have two local operators invested in Ustream. Why are these telco partnerships necessary, and what are the benefits for all parties?

As strong operators in each of their local market KT and Softbank wanted to add value to provide customers with a better experience. For them it’s a step toward offering a complete package of network pipes and services. In addition, the local telcos finally get an opportunity to become a global platform for content/media partnerships. By offering a global window for local content players, they demonstrate that local telcos can be global operators. Lastly, strong network infrastructure, healthy capital investment and additional in-house services such as KT’s CDN business enhance Ustream’s overall capability and business environment.

What changes are you seeing in usage as broadband becomes more widely deployed?

Everything is easily shared. Everybody can be connected with anyone. It means that content can be created and shared by all in real time and it will change the world. Nobody can control this trend. Internet video usage per month in 2012 was 12,000 petabytes and according to Cisco research data this will increase to 33 thousands petabytes in 2015. The world will become more open and as broadband becomes widespread people will be able to watch what they couldn’t before, and at high quality.

The LTE Asia conference is taking place on the 18th-19th September 2013 at the Suntec, Singapore. Click here to download a brochure for the event.

How important are LTE roll-outs for companies such as Ustream?

According to Informa data, LTE subscription numbers in 2012 were roughly 63 million and will surpass one billion by 2018. More LTE roll-outs mean higher quality and less buffering for Ustream and as a result the Ustream service will grow dramatically. Nowadays people want more on their smartphone and as we are based on on-line streaming technology I believe that the quality upgrade that LTE will bring will enable the Ustream business to grow faster. I hope many countries offer sophisticated LTE services so that the users will be able to enjoy live broadcasting better with high quality on their mobile devices.

As a leader of an innovative technology company what drives you on a day-to-day basis?

Live, new and exciting things! I encourage my team to enjoy “now”, not only because we are live streaming service provider, but also because the “present” is too precious not to appreciate every moment. That’s one of the reasons I closed a 10- year exclusive deal with the Korean Baseball Association for global broadcasting and business rights. You can enjoy live baseball games via Ustream while you have loads of fun.

What’s your favourite mobile technology or gadget out at the moment and why?

I used to love Blackberry phones before the iPhone/Galaxy era. But now services and apps are more important than the devices themselves. As of today, I use a Samsung laptop and a monitor for my desk – iPad and iPhone 5 on the go.

What are you most looking forward to at the LTE Asia conference?

I am looking forward to meeting with the different stakeholders in our value chain and sharing insights and experiences from different markets and I’m excited to hear challenging questions from the audience.

Interview: President, Network Group, Korea Telecom: “Carrier aggregation will enable us to compete with wired broadband and generate new business opportunities.”

Seong-Mook Oh, President, Network Group, Korea Telecom

Seong-Mook Oh, President, Network Group, Korea Telecom

Seong-Mook Oh, President, Network Group, Korea Telecom, South Korea is delivering an opening keynote speech on Day Two of the LTE World Summit, taking place on the 24th-26th June 2013, at the Amsterdam RAI, Netherlands. Ahead of the show we get a comprehensive update on KT’s cutting-edge LTE deployment and why its CCC architecture brings it a competitive advantage.

What major developments have there been with regards to the LTE industry in your region this past year?

In the past year KT’s LTE network covered 99 per cent of the population in Korea. The traffic volume of our LTE networks has surpassed that of our 3G network, even though the only a quarter of KT’s subscribers are on LTE. This impressive deployment has been accomplished over the past year using the CCC (Cloud Communication Center) architecture, the most simple network deployment architecture, as far as I know. In the CCC architecture, all the RUs (Radio Unit) are connected to DU (Digital Unit) pools located in the centralisation center via through optic cores. The signals from multiple RUs are processed all together to optimise the radio performance and mitigate the inter-cell interference. To introduce more carriers in the near future, the optic cores and DU processing pools will be reused and RUs will be installed at a local cell site via the plug-in method. In addition, KT launched a VoLTE and PSVT (Packet Switched Video Telephony) service, which provides the HD-Voice and HD-Video service.

What are the chief technical challenges you are facing?

LTE is very sensitive to inter-cell interference due to the nature of OFDM-based systems. In a conventional architecture inter-cell interference control has limitations due to the delay and low speed between eNodeBs. KT’s CCC is a radical solution designed to resolve these inter-cell interference problems. However, the growing demand for higher data rates and the increase of LTE subscribers requires additional solutions such as carrier aggregation and femtocells. Through our close collaboration with several vendors we are trying to discover the optimal solutions. Our so-called “Connect & Development” method is focused on inter-eNodeB cooperation, which is the basis for carrier aggregation and HetNet technology.

The LTE World Summit, the premier 4G event for the telecoms industry, is taking place on the 24th-26th June 2013, at the Amsterdam RAI, Netherlands. Click here to download a brochure for the event.

What are the key techniques for network optimisation in LTE and what effect can it have on the customer experience?

Most of our customers’ dissatisfaction comes from cell-edge regions where the QoS is very low, due to the inter-cell interference, causing missed or dropped calls. In order to enhance cell-edge performance we have introduced new techniques named “JT (Joint Transmission)” and “CS (Coordinated Scheduling)”. These two technologies reduce inter-cell interference, but should be selectively used according to the network load. In the case of heavy traffic load, we should mainly focus on CS and in the case of low traffic, JT is beneficial as it improves throughput by increasing the signal strength. All these procedures come under the umbrella of SON (Self Optimized Network) technology.

Is VoLTE part of your plans and what benefits will it bring both to operators and consumers?

We have already commercialised VoLTE services. The “Idle to Active” time in 3G networks is about 2-3 seconds, and therefore the call set-up time for mobile-to-mobile is about 4-6 seconds. However, in LTE networks, the “Idle to Active” time is less than 100ms. Therefore, if you make a VoLTE call, the called party will respond within 1 second as well as it will make a connection to network within 100ms. In addition, the high voice quality of AMR-WB using 23kbps is very attractive to our customers. When using CSFB as an interim solution for voice service, PS calls also uses 3G networks during the voice calls causing user inconvenience due to the low 3G data speed. From the operator viewpoint, VoLTE will make it easy to reach an all-IP service, which will reduce the OPEX compared to conventional infrastructures.

Pricing for LTE is a controversial subject. Are operators getting it right?

ARPU of 3G smartphone users is $40. However, an ARPU of LTE user is about $50. That is, with LTE networks we can expect ARPU increase by 20 per cent. Recently, KT commercialised an LTE Unlimited price plan at $95 compared to the unlimited 3G data service tariffs that start from $54. However, there are many concerns regarding unlimited price plans on LTE. That policy was driven mainly by the competitive market situation in South Korea.

Do you think that LTE offers great opportunities for monetisation or does it present challenges?

One opportunity for LTE is its high-data rate and low latency, which guarantees QoS for streaming and interactive services. Content is easily accessible with LTE smartphones and “virtual goods” can be monetised and delivered via LTE networks. For example, we can provide a better or guaranteed QoS for users viewing adverts. New LTE-based services such as eMBMS and RCS also offer an opportunity for monetisation. KT is preparing for eMBMS pre-commercial services within this year. However, if operators lose the right to control QoS due to the regulation issues, operators will face some challenges for sustainable growth and should make an effort to develop a new ICT (Information Communication Technology) business model.

In order to offer a more competitive service than the OTT players KT is leveraging CCC for ICT business. CCC is a kind of domain-specific cloud technology, based on virtualisation. By unifying the platform for radio and several application services into CCC, we can provide cross-layer optimised services between applications and radio. For example, we can utilise user contexts such as user ID, traffic content, QoS, location, and the radio environment to provide the most suitable service to our customers. I expect that all these services will offer a great monetisation opportunity to mobile network operators.

Where do small cells fit into your plans?

Most of KT’s mobile network infrastructure already consists of small cells. This is because the small cell is key to meeting capacity demands and removes coverage holes in a cost effective way. With the advent of smartphones and the exponential growth of data traffic, CCC-based small cells for 3G and 4G have been playing a significant role. The inter-site distance of these small cells is no more than 100m in Seoul, whereas the coverage of macro cell in rural areas is around 1-2km.

As an in-building solution KT has developed business femtocells, targeting both data offloading for capacity and in-building coverage. The business femtocells have been deployed at public places such as cafe and markets for public subscribers. We are currently developing a home femtocell and will introduce some calling plans for private subscribers. Following mass deployment, we expect more than 10 per cent of traffic will be off-loaded to femtocells in the near future, compared to the current data off-load of less than one per cent. In addition, the business and home femtocells will co-operate with CCC to reduce the inter-cell interference.

What do you think will be the most exciting new development in LTE in 2013?

From the viewpoint of network development, KT plans to introduce inter-band carrier aggregation and expand the system bandwidth up to 20MHz from 10MHz. This will enable us to double the maximum date rate to compete with wired broadband and generate new business opportunities for all the mobile related industries such as M2M, streaming and cloud services.

 This year, our evolved CCC network (LTE WARP Advanced) will support advanced CoMP technology. A DM-RS (Demodulation Reference Signal) based on JT (Joint Transmission) technology will expand the JT areas into the cell edge using the different PCIs (Physical Cell ID). Furthermore, CS (Coordinated Scheduling) will be expanded into the heterogeneous network with the component of CCC-based small cell solutions such as picocell and femtocell through an X2 interface.

 From the viewpoint of service development, KT will introduce application and radio converged services provided in CCC. For example, accessed information is frequently kept in CCC that is physically and logically closer to the user side. By reducing the amount of traffic on EPC, WAN links, and overburdened Web servers, caching provides significant benefits to reduce TCO and service delays. I expect that more application services such as LBS based smart dialling and local community services will be accommodated in CCC in future.

Interview: CTO, SK Telecom, South Korea: “SDN and network virtualisation technologies hold great promise for mobile carriers.”

Dr J W Byun, the CTO of SK Telecom, South Korea is speaking on Day One of the LTE World Summit, taking place on 24-26 June 2013 at The RAI, Amsterdam. Ahead of the show we speak to him about how SK Telecom has been able to extend its global lead in LTE and gives some insights into what he sees coming down the line for telecoms.

SKT_CTO_PHOTO_s

SK Telecom is a leader in LTE technology and have been one of the first to go live with VoLTE? Why do you think you were able to do so when other operators have not done so?

We were able to achieve nationwide LTE rollout at a rapid pace as Korea is a small but densely populated country. Moreover, Koreans are already used to fast Internet speeds and their expectations are getting higher and higher in terms of network speeds and device features/capabilities.

As Korea’s top mobile carrier, SK Telecom has developed strong technological capabilities in mobile telecommunications and accumulated extensive knowhow in network operation over the past 29 years. Based on its long-standing partnerships with many telecommunications equipment manufacturers and device makers, SK Telecom was able to maintain its market leadership by developing the most innovative LTE technologies and securing the richest line-up of mobile devices.

After launching Korea’s first LTE service in July 2011, the company saw its LTE subscriber base expand rapidly thanks to its premium service quality and customer care. With the spread of LTE, the company shifted its focus to developing and providing diverse services specially designed to match the needs of LTE users, allowing them to get the most out of the LTE network. In addition, on August 8, 2012, SK Telecom has launched the world’s first nationwide VoLTE service to enable users to experience premium-quality voice services.

Are you also intending to be one of the first to pioneer RCS services and what impact do you think it will have on customers mainly using OTT services?

SK Telecom has already commercialized an RCS service named joyn.T. Launched on 26 December 2012 the number of joyn.T users reached 1.57 million in April, 2013. The strong growth of joyn.T is attributable to the fact that it

1) Enables joyn.T users to send free messages (SMS, MMS) to anyone including those who have not downloaded the joyn.T application.
2) Offers diverse differentiated features such as live video sharing and location sharing.
3) Can become interoperable with RCS services of other mobile carriers throughout the world.

The LTE World Summit, the premier 4G event for the telecoms industry, is taking place on the 24th-26th June 2013, at the Amsterdam RAI, Netherlands. Click here to download a brochure for the event.

Where are you with LTE Advanced and carrier aggregation in particular?

At Mobile World Congress 2013, SK Telecom showcased Carrier Aggregation using a smartphone for the first time in the world and we plan to commercialize LTE-Advanced by launching Carrier Aggregation (CA) in the second half of this year, using a combined total of 20MHz (from the 800MHz and 1800MHz bands).

However, last year, in July 2012, SK Telecom became the first company in the world to commercialise Multi Carrier (MC) – a technology that enables operators to choose one frequency band from multiple carriers to provide more seamless and reliable LTE services at faster speeds – by building 1.8GHz base stations. Going forward, these MC-capable base stations can be easily turned into CA-capable equipment through software upgrades so as to support LTE-Advanced from the second half of 2013.

Do you believe that RCS services can genuinely help the industry compete with OTT?

RCS service sets itself apart from the traditional OTT offering through its unique features. It provides guaranteed Quality of Service (QoS) since it is offered over the managed IP network of the operators and hence is carrier-grade. In addition, it can be grown into a more comprehensive service with the addition of diverse features developed based on the global RCS standards. SK Telecom plans to add attractive features that are combined with communication services, such as HD Voice (VoLTE). Furthermore, as many mobile operators around the world are promoting the development of RCS services based on the same specifications, these services are expected to become a universal service that can be enjoyed by all customers around the world regardless of network and carrier.

Is VoLTE part of your plans and what benefits will it bring both to operators and consumers?

For customers, VoLTE improves voice quality over 3G voice calls by 40 per cent by utilising a wider bandwidth (50~7000Hz) compared to 3G voice calls (300~3400Hz) and Adapted Multi-Rate Wide Band (AMR-WB) codec, which handles 2.2 times wider frequency bandwidth than that of 3G voice calls. Moreover, the call connection time is less than 0.25 to 2.5 seconds, two to 20 times shorter than 3G voice calls. VoLTE also provides seamless conversion between voice and video calls.

Moreover, VoLTE has helped mobile operators strengthen their competitive edge over third-party players, while paving the way for the creation of new and creative all-IP-based business models.

Where do small cells fit into your plans, and what benefits will they bring?

In the LTE-Advanced environment where data traffic is expected to increase dramatically, small cells will become the most crucial part of mobile operators’ strategy. Small cells enable operators to expand network capacity using their existing frequency resources in the most cost-effective manner. SK Telecom has deployed 50,000 femtocells including 3,000 LTE femtocells. To realize the true benefits of small cells, SK Telecom plans to develop and apply cell virtualization technologies such as Super Cell. Super Cell enables mobile operators to use cell virtualisation technologies to enhance network capacity by minimising inter-cell interference, ensure seamless call quality by removing handover, and benefit from cost-efficient operation of networks.

Are there any other key innovations in your network compared to others operators?

SK Telecom’s premium quality LTE service is supported by innovative LTE network technologies like Multi Carrier, LTE femtocells, Downlink CoMP (Coordinated Multi-Point) and SON (Self-Organizing Network), all of which were commercialised by SK Telecom for the first time in the world. The application of these advanced technologies, combined with SK Telecom’s long-established know-how and experience in network operations, is making the company’s networks even stronger, faster and smarter.

The company is also making constant efforts to keep developing core LTE-Advanced technologies to lead the full-fledged opening of the era of LTE-Advanced. It has successfully demonstrated, for the first time in the world, core LTE-Advanced technologies like Enhanced Inter-Cell Interference Coordination (eICIC), Uplink Cooperative Multi-Point (CoMP), Carrier Aggregation (CA) and Transmission Mode 9 (TM9).

Pricing for LTE is a controversial subject. Are operators getting it right?

LTE operators around the world are introducing many different types of price plans for their LTE subscribers. As for SK Telecom, it is offering a wide variety of LTE price plans in order to meet the diverse needs of customers and to encourage them to experience the advantages of the ultra-fast network in the most convenient and cost-effective manner. They include flat-rate plans, specialised plans for different age groups such as the elderly and teenagers, and optional data-only plans.

For instance, the company’s most recently launched (March 22, 2013) fixed-rate price plan named ‘T&T Sharing’ provides customers with unlimited intra-network voice calls as well as unlimited intra-network and inter-network texting. The company also modified its existing LTE data plans to lower the cost burden on customers by allowing them to add one data-only device to use the same data pool for free.

Moreover, in January 2013, SK Telecom introduced the ‘LTE Data Gift Program’ that allows customers to give their remaining data to other LTE users through a simple process.

How will affordable LTE roaming be achieved?

LTE roaming costs are expected to become as affordable as that of 3G roaming through close partnerships between mobile carriers. This will occur as LTE services spread across the globe. Recently, the members of the Bridge Alliance reached a consensus that LTE auto-roaming takes an important role in the future direction of next-generation roaming services, thus calling for strategic partnerships between carriers around the world.

After launching the world’s first LTE auto roaming service under partnership with Hong Kong’s CSL on June 1, 2012, SK Telecom has launched the service in Singapore by joining hands with M1 (October 1, 2012) and SingTel (March 1, 2013). Recently, SK Telecom has also started the service in the Philippines (April 1, 2013) by partnering with Globe Telecom.

What are the biggest changes you see coming down the line for mobile telecoms?

It has long been their dream of mobile operators to create mobile networks strong and smart enough to provide optimal network quality at all times. In the world of ever-increasing data traffic, they have been making heavy investments in their network infrastructure to prevent worst-case scenarios involving network overload. As a pioneer in the development of the global mobile industry, SK Telecom has already launched and refined its LTE network and is currently moving rapidly towards the era of LTE-Advanced.

Along with its efforts to realise unprecedented network speeds, SK Telecom also plans to promote the development of the Software-Defined Network (SDN) and network virtualisation technologies to make its network more powerful and attractive. SDN and network virtualisation technologies hold great promise for mobile carriers and will have a huge impact on the industry over the next five years. With SDN and virtualization technologies applied to the existing mobile networks, operators will be able to significantly reduce their network investment costs as they can install a number of software services within a single system, and flexibly adjust the amount of resources needed for each of them. Moreover, they will be able to offer optimal network quality for a particular service being used by customers located in a highly-congested area.

No lag for SK Telecom as it turbo boosts LTE

Following on from our LTE at MWC round-up from last week, I thought we’d go into a little bit more depth on what SK Telecom is doing. Why? Because SK Telecom is one of the world leaders in LTE. According to Informa WCIS stats, as of December 2012 South Korea leads the way with LTE with 32.5% of all subscribers in the country using LTE. It has 7.5m of its subscribers on LTE subscriptions, some 25% of its total user base and it hopes that by the end of 2013 that will go up to 60%. It’s an ambitious figure but it does enjoy coverage of 98% of the country.

When you consider that in the UK, O2 has just been awarded the licence for 800MHz spectrum with an obligation to provide 98% coverage, the difference is stark. In a nutshell, South Korea is way ahead.

Clearly it is in its interests to get everybody across to LTE as soon as possible. It will want to recoup those investments it’s made in LTE and the more people move across the sooner it can leverage the benefits of the lower cost-per-bit of LTE.

If you want to know more about SK Telecom’s latest LTE advances first-hand, Dr Byun Jae-woan is speaking at the LTE World Summit in June. Click here to download a flyer for the event.

No surprise then that at Mobile World Congress SK Telecom said that it would be taking things to the next level and demoing LTE Advanced, with plans to commercialise it in the second half of 2013. After all with strong competitors in the form of KT Corp and LG U+ it can’t afford to rest on its laurels.

The LTE Advanced it showed at MWC consisted of ‘Super Cell’, a concept that uses cell virtualisation to improve network capacity by reducing inter-cell interference. It also helps to ensure better call handovers between cells. It’s still possible to get cut off when travelling between cells today so that’s a welcome improvement.

Top speed is the big news though and the LTE Advanced solution can comfortably deliver 150Mbps to a handset.  A 1.4GB HD movie would download in just 75 seconds SK Telecom is pleased to tell us. (Thunk. Don’t worry, that’s just the sound of someone who’s just signed up to EE on a 500MB cap hitting the floor after fainting).

LTE. It's fast in a completely different way to a McLaren F1.

LTE. It’s fast in a completely different way to a McLaren F1. (See below)

SK also demonstrated VoLTE, which the company has successfully deployed. This is in large part thanks to its widespread LTE coverage layer, which means it doesn’t have to worry about the tricky business of handing over calls to 2G or 3G.

Another good news story for LTE from the house of SK, was that it announced that it had an impressive one million users on its Joyn.T application, all garnered in just 50 days since its launch in December 2012.

Joyn.T, is the RCS-based offering created by operator in a bid to give them a tool to be the OTT guys such as Skype and WhatsApp. It’s good news for the Joyn backers the GSMA, which had to contend with Deutsche Telekom announcing that it was delaying its Joyn deployment for more extensive testing.

On the infrastructure side the news was the SK Telecom was working with Nokia Siemens Networks, the struggling telecoms infrastructure vendor that has seen resurgence in recent months.  NSN was boasting of its so called ‘Liquid Application’ technology, the main thrust of which is essentially to put more intelligence into the base stations in a bid to improve latency. This is a good move.

What many people don’t realise is the latency enhancements in LTE are where most of the real world perceived benefits come from. It’s all about responsiveness. Poor latency is like turbo lag in a car on a race track full of cars. If you have to wait for ages for the boost to come in, and you don’t have long stretches of road ahead of you to make use of that top speed you’re going to lose out to more nimbler connections with lower top speeds but faster responding turbos.

If that seems a little confused it’s because the parallel occurred to me as was failing to leave slower cars behind despite driving a McLaren F1. (In the Xbox 360 game Forza 4 that is – I don’t own a McLaren F1 in real life you probably won’t be surprised to know). It was the laggy turbo in the F1 you see, and the track didn’t let me go above fourth gear at any point, so despite its 240 mph top speeds its potential bandwidth couldn’t help me. Much like a high bandwidth connection with low latency. If NSN’s Liquid Application can improve latency and top speed, it’s the best of both worlds.

SK Telecom has been boosting its backend bandwidth too though, with the announcement in January that it would be moving from 40G to 100G upgrades, giving it 8Tbps to play with on its optical network.

dr_byun

SK Telcoms’s CTO and Head of Future Technology R&D Division Byun Jae-Woan

Other interesting developments that came out of MWC this year for SK Telecom were its indoor location positioning technology, its innovative healthcare solutions such as Smartcase that used mobile connectivity to send medical information to doctors remotely, and FREND, which provide on-site diagnosis of major diseases and send that information again for 3G or 4G.

However, for SK Telecom I’d say MWC 2013 was mainly about LTE. The GSMA certainly thought so and here is a picture of SK’s CTO and Head of Future Technology R&D Division Byun Jae-Woan, proudly displaying the award the operator won from the Global Mobile Awards 2013 for the 4G LTE with PETA Solution – a cocktail of technologies to improve LTE performance involving multi carriers, femtocells, VoLTE, SON and Advanced Smart Cloud Access networks.

 

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