Samsung, SK Telecom develop mmWave testbed

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Samsung and SK Telekom have built a testbed to support the development of mmWave 5G technologies.

mmWave is considered important for 5G as it uses frequency bands of 30GHz and higher. Due of the heavy use of spectrum below 6GHz by mobile operators, mmWave is being looked to to help ensure 5G gets off the ground quickly and benefits from “significantly faster data transmission speeds”, SK Telekom said.

The system developed by the operator alongside Samsung will allow the companies to test the data transmission performance of mmWave between base stations and handsets and verify whether the technology could be applied to metropolitan areas.

Testing and verification will take place at SK Telekom’s Corporate R&D Centre in the operator’s Bundang HQ. The operator added this will make it the first carrier in Korea to install 5G equipment in its premises.

SK Telecom has been working with Samsung to develop 5G technologies since October last year, in a partnership that covers research into small cells, massive MIMO and next generation modulation/demodulation.

[Read more: mmWave, sub 6GHz driving small cell backhaul market to $4bn]

At Mobile World Congress in March, the companies demonstrated speeds of up to 7.55Gbps through use of “3D Beamforming” technology.

[Read more: 5G battlelines drawn as Asia looks to stretch lead over Europe]

Alex Jinsung Choi, CTO, Executive Vice President and Head of SK Telecom's Corporate R&D Centre, said: “Through close collaboration with…Samsung Electronics, SK Telecom is pleased to launch the mmWave system [to] develop and verify mmWave technologies.

“SK Telecom and Samsung Electronics will further strengthen joint R&D efforts to lead the upcoming 5G era.”