From South Korea, 5G Heading Your Way


On Oct. 20, Samsung Electronics and SK Telecom Co. announced a partnership for the development and commercialization of 5G-network technology by 2020. 5G would allow the transmission of 1,000 times more data than 4G networks, 1,000 times faster.

To illustrate the scope of the contribution, Samsung released a live video demonstration of the technology at work. In the clip, a device operating on 5G achieved a stable connection of over 1.2 Gigabytes per second (Gbps) in a van moving at speeds above 110 kilometers per hour. At this connection speed, one can download a two-hour-long HD movie in less than five seconds.

Jong-rok Yoon, vice chief of South Korea’s Ministry of Science, ICT and Future Planning, also believes 5G will be the connection standard one day. Its success, however, depends on international support.

“To prepare for the 5G era, it is essential for the government and private organizations around the world to cooperate on major issues like the development and standardization of necessary technology and the frequency band,” Yoon said.

Samsung and SK Telecom’s announcement to advance 5G aligned with the commencement of the International Telecommunication Union’s (ITU) 2014 Plenipotentiary Conference in Busan, South Korea.  ITU, the United Nations’ specialized agency for communication technologies, boasts a global membership of more than 193 countries and 700 private-sector corporations.

Among the conference’s panels was one hosted by a coalition of South Korean telecommunication companies known as the 5G Forum, in which Samsung and SK Telecom are chairs. The panel, “The 5G Global Summit,” had intended to share information about developments in 5G technology and to express the need for international cooperation.

“[Samsung will] continue to cooperate with other industry leaders and research centers across the world. Whether you are talking about mobile devices, the cloud, or the Internet of Things, the demand for 5G telecommunications standard and its supporting technologies will continue to grow,” said Chang Yeong Kim, Head of Samsung Electronics’ DMC R&D Centre.

Samsung’s collaboration with SK Telecom, which operates nearly half of South Korea’s mobile service market, will provide the two with greater research capabilities. According to a press release by SK Telecom, the two companies’ joint efforts will create a formidable voice that will “share 5G vision with standardization groups and technology forums in and out of the country.”


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