SK Telecom, working with Samsung Electronics, has successfully tested its 5G system using 28 GHz millimetre wave technology in an outdoor environment, it announced today 931 March 2016). 5G millimetre wave technologies applied to the test include transmitter, receiver and antenna technologies designed to effectively transmit radio signals in the 28 GHz band.
Millimetre waves occupy the frequency spectrum from 30 GHz to 300 GHz. They have short wavelengths that range from 1 millimetre to 10 millimetres. Currently in the field of mobile telecommunications, millimetre waves generally refer to 6 GHz or higher frequency bands.
The test also utilised 3D beamforming, a key technology that compensates radio propagation path loss in the higher frequency bands caused by the short wavelengths of millimetre waves and high atmospheric attenuation. 3D beamforming is a technique that improves the system performance by steering the antenna beam in both horizontal and vertical domains for a clear propagation path to the targeted user.
SK Telecom and Samsung Electronics built the millimetre wave 5G system at the end of August 2015, and have been conducting field tests using outdoor 5G base stations and a vehicle equipped with a 5G test handset since October 2015 to measure and analyze service quality in the field – i.e. service coverage, transmission speed, latency and radio wave/signal strength.
SK Telecom said that the test results will be an important asset for building an enhanced 5G system, including its 5G pilot networks to be built within the end of this year. The company began developing 5G specifications last year to build 5G trial services and completed its development in March 2016. Going forward, the company plans to discuss specifications for 5G trial services at the 5G Open Trial Specification Alliance.
The company has also published its 5G White Paper in 2014 and its guidelines for 5G architecture design and implementation in 2015 to contribute to the development 5G requirements and standards.