SK Telecom has announced that the first non-standalone 5G non-radio calls were achieved by using the 3GPP 5G non-standalone new radio standard, commercial 5G equipment and a bandwidth of 100MHz in the 3.5GHz band.
The call took place at the company’s 5G laboratory, located in its Bundang-gu (Seoul Capital Area) office building. SK Telecom is the largest mobile operator in Korea by both revenue and number of subscribers.
5G is important for the telcos sector, promising a new generation of bandwidth speeds and devices to go with faster and more reliable communications. For innovations in digital manufacturing, autonomous vehicles, open banking and fintech innovation to scale, 5G is the platform that is needed to make this happen.
Three spectrum ranges will be needed for 5G: Sub-1 GHz, 1-6 GHz, and above 6 GHz. To date some 48 countries have either carried out consultations or have taken steps to auction spectrum and licenses for 5G services.
What is important about the Sk Telecom feat is with the equipment. The technology used can be readily applied to any commercial 5G network. These first 5G non-standalone radio standard calls were achieved by utilizing end-to-end solutions that SK Telecom and Samsung jointly developed and built for the trial on 3.5GHz 5G NR radio, 4G LTE radio and NSA core.
In non-standalone new radio standard architecture, 5G is supported by the infrastructure of legacy 4G LTE where mobile devices are connected to both 4G and 5G for data traffic, while utilizing the 4G network for non-data traffic such as exchanging signals for mobility controls. 5G NSA-NR has been considered as one of the promising 5G architectures for the initial 5G deployments.