Samsung and SK Telecom Successfully Showcased 5G Next-Generation Core Compliant with 3GPP Release-15

Completion of 5G NC brings companies one step closer to 5G commercialization

Seoul, Korea - July 3, 2018 - Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd. (Samsung) and SK Telecom have successfully demonstrated their 5G Next-Generation Core (5G NC) based on 3GPP Release-15 standards, completed in June 2018. 

The 5G NC developed by the two companies operates independently of a LTE network, and it enables previously unavailable features. 5G NC is based on a new service-based architecture that introduces software features such as Control and User Planes Separation, Network Slicing and Virtualized Network Functions (VNF) deployed on containers; the latest virtualization technology beyond traditional virtual machines. This is the world's first trial of 5G NC which implemented VNFs based on 3GPP standards-compliant service-based architecture as well as containers.

As diverse services with complex requirements continue to emerge, the new 5G NC is able to identify service types and process the traffic accordingly. For example, the transmission of sensitive financial and biometric information can be protected through advanced security function such as quantum cryptography; ultra-high-resolution images can be transmitted faster; and for telemedicine, ultra-low latency can be guaranteed.

Moving beyond proprietary technologies, the 5G NC control plane includes the Hyper Text Transfer Protocol (HTTP) international standard which has been newly adopted by 3GPP. HTTP enables a seamless connection between the core network and web-based services, and allows third parties such as start-ups to create new 5G services easily. As a result, they can provide an optimal service to customers, leveraging network-related information like location and data throughput.

5G NC is also characterized by its ability to guarantee both operational stability and unprecedented user experience. This is achieved by automatically selecting the best path between device and internet, and by adding intelligent automatic management to restore the network instantaneously if issues occur.

"Based on this trial, SK Telecom has successfully verified the essential core network technologies for 5G commercialization," said Park Jin-hyo, Executive Vice President and Head of ICT R&D Center at SK Telecom. "We will continue to enhance our technology development to enable truly innovative 5G services." 

"The completion of 5G NC with SK Telecom is a significant step towards 5G commercialization," said Paul Kyungwhoon Cheun, Executive Vice President and Head of R&D, Networks Business at Samsung Electronics. "The tests have shown how fast, flexible, efficient and user-centric the network can become with Next-Generation Core."

SK Telecom and Samsung have jointly submitted more than 30 5G NC contributions to the 3GPP standardization, and have completed several 5G NC proof-of-concept activities. The two companies are collaborating to develop and verify 5G NC solutions, expected to be deployed in 2019.

In February 2017, Samsung Electronics announced the readiness of its NC solution and a library of 5G VNF as part of its broader commercial 5G portfolio. The solution has since been upgraded to integrate new features defined in the 3GPP standards Release-15. It supports both 4G and 5G core functions.

About SK Telecom

Established in 1984, SK Telecom is the largest mobile operator in Korea by both revenue and number of subscribers. As of December 2017, the company holds around 50 percent of the market, with 30.2 million mobile subscribers including 22.87 million LTE subscribers. It has reached KRW 17.520 trillion in revenue in 2017. SK Telecom has led the advancement of mobile technologies ranging from 2G to 4G, and is currently setting important milestones in its journey to 5G. The company is not only leading innovation in the field of mobile network, but also providing IoT, media, home and platform services. SK Telecom is determined to play a significant role in the Fourth Industrial Revolution by achieving innovations and promoting shared growth with other players in the industry.
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About Samsung Electronics

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