June 05, 2020

SKT-Ericsson test of standalone 5G network succeeds

PUBLISHED : September 15, 2019 - 16:44

UPDATED : September 15, 2019 - 16:44

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SK Telecom and its Swedish partner Ericsson said Sunday they have successfully conducted a joint test of the 5G standalone network, opening the way for faster network services and better data management efficiency.

Standalone (SA) is a method that is two times faster than the previous 5G non-standalone (NSA) method, which uses 5G connection side by side with the lower-grade Long Term Evolution network. 

SK Telecom employees test the SA 5G service
SK Telecom

SK Telecom announced it has become the first Korean telecom company to achieve pure SA 5G technology. Domestic competitors KT and LG Uplus are still using non-standalone methods in their efforts to expand 5G network capacity.

SKT emphasized that it had used 5G-specific devices and routes in every step of the SA 5G test.

SA has roughly three times better data management efficiency compared to NSA, which enables optimized network services for next-generation technologies, such as augmented and virtual reality, autonomous driving and smart factories, according to SKT.

With the SA 5G service, core technologies of 5G, such as network slicing and function modularization, have become possible, the company added.

Network slicing ensures the quality of networks for each consumer by separating physical and virtual networks. Function modularization builds functions like blocks to provide new services to clients swiftly.

For SKT’s SA network, Qualcomm chips, the Ericsson base station and core equipment were used.

SKT plans to commercialize the SA 5G network within the first half of 2020.

By Lim Jeong-yeo/The Korea Herald (

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