SEOUL, Jan. 20 (Korea Bizwire) — SK Telecom Co., South Korea’s top mobile carrier, said Monday it plans to launch a 5G stand-alone service in the first half of the year after a test on its commercial 5G network was successful.
Its stand-alone 5G data call using the company’s multi-vendor commercial 5G network in Busan last week ended successfully, according to SKT.
The result means the company can provide a 5G standalone service through a software upgrade without replacing its base stations.
For its standalone 5G network, SKT said it will apply advanced 5G technologies, such as network slicing and mobile edge computing (MEC).
5G is the fifth generation of mobile communication and is the successor of 4G LTE.
In December 2018, South Korea became the world’s first country to commercialize 5G services, but its current 5G network is based on architecture that is not stand-alone, and is supported by the 4G LTE system and infrastructure.
The stand-alone architecture offers faster reaction time and data processing speed than the current system, thus providing better 5G-related solutions in areas like virtual reality, autonomous driving and smart factory.
South Korea’s two other mobile carriers, KT Corp. and LG Uplus Corp., said they are also working to commercialize 5G stand-alone services.