Ericsson, SK Telecom & Qualcomm Conduct 3.5 GHz 5G NR Data Call in South Korea

Ericsson in partnership with SK Telecom and Qualcomm Technologies, has successfully carried out a 5G NR data call on mid-band over SKT’s live, 5G commercial network in Busan, South Korea. This demonstration builds on SK Telecom’s selection of Ericsson as a 5G vendor. Under the 5G agreement, Ericsson will provide SKT with 5G New Radio (NR) radio, baseband, and Ericsson Network Management systems for its 5G commercial network launch.

The 5G field demonstration used a broader bandwidth on a commercial frequency, which was made available for operators in South Korea on December 1. The demo included a video call and streaming using SKT’s 5G commercial network, Ericsson’s commercial Ericsson Radio System products and a mobile smartphone form-factor test device powered by the Qualcomm Snapdragon X50 5G modem and antenna modules with integrated RF transceiver, RF front-end and antenna elements.

The data call transmitted over the 100 MHz-wide bandwidth on 3.5 GHz spectrum and was the first field test using a broad bandwidth at 3.5 GHz frequencies. Access to new and wider frequency bands will bring higher peak throughput and more capacity needed especially in metropolitan areas to cater for the growing mobile data traffic. According to Ericsson Mobility Report, mobile data traffic growth is expected to increase five-fold between 2018 and 2024.

Ericsson and SKT’s collaboration to bring 5G commercialization includes reaching several milestones. In February 2017, the companies demonstrated the first intercontinental 5G trial network, where network slices were made available in the two operators' footprint. The companies also conducted several multi-vehicular 5G trials, which won industry recognition. They also recently successfully completed a 5G interworking test among preferred vendors.