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SKT to develop 6G network tech with Nokia, Ericsson

June 16, 2019 - 18:05 By Yeo Jun-suk
  South Korea’s biggest mobile carrier SK Telecom said Sunday it will develop the sixth-generation network technology with Nokia and Ericsson, as the Korean government seeks to enhance economic ties with Nordic countries.

The telecom firm signed memorandums of understanding for research and development cooperation with the two companies based in Finland and Sweden. The agreement with Nokia and Ericson was made on Wednesday and Thursday, respectively, at their headquarters.

While there are still no technological standards for what constitutes a 6G network, and its preceding 5G network is only available in a few countries, the bilateral cooperation will help us take a lead in the competitive tech industry, SKT noted.

“The agreement will act as an opportunity to enhance our relationship with Nokia and Ericsson,” said SKT’s CTO Park Jin-hyo. “We will enhance more R&D cooperation with the companies in future.” 

SKT`s CTO Park Jin-hyo and his Ericsson countepart Per Narvinger. SKT

Having met with counterparts from Nokia and Ericsson Tommi Uitto and Per Narvinger, respectively, Park said that SKT had “close consultations” about technological requirements for a 6G network and business models using the futuristic technology.

The company added that it also discussed ways to advance the current 5G technology, agreeing first to develop sophisticated network technologies and incorporate them in its commercial network.

Technologies under the joint research program include ultrareliable and low latency wireless network and multiple-input and -output antenna technology. They will also study on how to apply artificial intelligence to a standalone 5G network.

“The agreement allows us to further enhance our partnership with Nokia and Ericsson, which have maintained close cooperation on 5G and (its previous) 4G Long Term Evolution network,” SKT said in a press release.

The announcement came after President Moon Jae-in wrapped up his recent eight-day trip to Sweden, Finland and Norway.

Given the Nordic countries’ edge in technology and environment sector, the government has pledged to launch various joint initiatives by designating Sweden as a hub for multilateral cooperation.

By establishing a scientific research center in Stockholm, the Ministry of Science and ICT said it will begin an academic exchange program with the Nobel Foundation, starting with an academic conference in Seoul next March.

The ministry also has agreed to launch joint research projects with Sweden on the health implications of fine dust as part of its international cooperation to fight against pressing environmental issues.