Nokia Networks and SK Telecom have deployed enhanced Inter-Cell Interference Coordination (eICIC), an LTE-A technology that reduces inter-cell interference by an estimated 15 percent.
The technology is designed to be used in heavily congested areas where a mix of macro and micro cells are deployed. The two companies claimed the commercial deployment, in Gwangju Metropolitan City, is a world's first.
SK Telecom said it plans to extend eICIC to the remainder of its LTE-A nationwide network by the end of June 2016.
The technology will be a vital tool in managing traffic as the industry shifts towards 5G and deploys heterogeneous networks mixing macrocells and small cells, according to the two companies.
Tero Peltola, Vice President of FDD LTE, Nokia Networks, said: "Together with SK Telecom, we have achieved an important milestone in advancing the mobile network through the development of eICIC. By using eICIC, SK Telecom’s customers can utilise their existing LTE devices with no need to buy new smartphones."
Park Jin-hyo, Senior Vice President and Head of Network Technology R&D Center at SK Telecom, added: "SK Telecom’s partnership with Nokia has led to the achievement of the world’s first commercialization of eICIC, a powerful technology that will further improve our customer experience. We will continue to develop and commercialize new and innovative technologies to solidify our position as the leader in the era of the next-generation network.”
It is the second collaboration the Korean operator and Finnish vendor have announced in the past seven days. Last week, both companies said they were working together to develop millimetre wave technology ahead of the shift towards 5G.