Korean operator SK Telecom and Samsung Electronics successfully completed a 4G LTE and 5G end-to-end network interworking trial, which the companies said took place in a real outdoor environment in Seoul.
The duo utilized a 4G LTE commercial network deployed in the 2.6 GHz band along with a newly built 5G network using frequencies of 3.5 GHz and 28 GHz, as well as a virtualized core and a test device supporting both 4G and 5G.
Testing involved live streaming of a 360-degree VR video between a user traveling in a car and another in SK Telecom’s headquarters in the Eulji-ro area of South Korea.
Samsung and SK Telecom said the successful test showed that users can experience uninterrupted streaming service while transitioning between 4G and 5G networks.
“Users will be able to experience seamless communications service regardless of their location with 5G, in which the nationwide deployment of 4G will work together with base stations that support the 3.5 GHz band for wide coverage as well as the 28 GHz band for ultra-high speed transmission,” Park Jin-hyo, SVP and head of network technology R&D center at SK Telecom, commented in a statement.
“Interworking between 4G and 5G is a prerequisite for the early stage of 5G commercialization. Likewise, the interworking between 3G and 4G was the key driver to foster the 4G eco-system and its commercialization,” Dongsoo Park, EVP and head of global sales & marketing team in Networks Business at Samsung Electronics, noted. “The success of the test has proved that end users’ demand for a seamless and better experience can be met, on 4G-5G-intertwined next generation network.”
In addition to software defined network (SDN) technology, the design and testing of network slicing technology was key to the trial.
The companies said they will proceed with more trials to develop “ideal commercial scenarios” and identify more 5G use cases by maximizing the use of existing 4G networks.