SK Telecom selects Ericsson, Nokia and Samsung as 5G network partners

Lim Chang-won Reporter Posted : 2018-09-14 11:23 Updated : 2018-09-14 11:23
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[SK Telecom]

SEOUL -- SK Telecom selected Ericsson, Nokia and Samsung Electronics as fifth-generation (5G) equipment suppliers. It was the first contract of its kind by South Korean mobile carrier involved in the establishment of an ultra-fast mobile network.

The three companies were evaluated to have leading technologies and capabilities to activate a 5G ecosystem, SK Telecom said, adding financial factors were also considered. The South Korean company plans to complete contracts in October.

In many countries, technology and telecom companies are racing to commercialize the 5G network, which is vital for the telecom renaissance to be brought by the Fourth Industrial Revolution.

Under a strong government initiative, South Korean firms, including KT and SK Telecom, are trying hard to commercialize a 5G mobile network ahead of other countries. Business ties have been forged between South Korean and foreign firms mainly from the United States and Europe. China's Huawei Technologies was also mentioned as a possible candidate.

Base stations and exchange equipment will be supplied by the three companies, which also supplied equipment for SK Telecom's LTE network. Huawei was on the shortlist, but it was excluded at the final stage.   

Last month, KT tied up with two American tech firms, Intel and Qwilt, for the development of a 5G ecosystem. KT will use Intel's latest processor, memory, storage and networking acceleration technologies to design a platform for 5G content delivery.

This month, AT&T, a U.S. telecom company, selected Samsung as one of its technology suppliers. The American company plans to introduce 5G services in five cities this year and another five other cities in 2018.