SK Telecom Succeeds in Testing 5G Network from a Car That Is Going at 170km/h

Feb 08, 2017

SK Telecom succeeded in testing 5G network, which is 50 times faster than a normal Smartphone, from a car that is going at an ultra-fast speed and this is a positive sign for commercialization of self-driving cars and high-performance connected cars.
SK Telecom made an announcement on the 7th that it succeeded in making telecommunication with 3.6Gbps speed from a car that is going at 170km/h with Ericsson and BMW Group Korea.
These companies succeeded in this test from 5G trial network that is located within BMW Driving Center, which is located in Incheon. 3.6Gbps is a speed that is 48 times faster than normal LTE (75Mbps).
If last year’s test between a connected car and 5G trial network focused on ‘connectivity’, this test focused on ‘speed’ of telecommunication with actual car that is going at high speed.
“This is the first time in the world when a test satisfied speed of 5G network from a car that is going at an ultra-fast speed rather than a fixed car.” said a representative for SK Telecom. “This will greatly impact self-driving car industries that need their cars to send and receive information on surrounding in real-time for safety of passengers and drivers.”
If 3.6Gbps telecommunication is made possible from a car going at an ultra-fast speed, image recognition and V2X technologies can be more delicate. These technologies allow large traffic information such as signals, CCTV, and emergency situations to be sent and received and lead to safer driving.
Drivers and passengers can also enjoy large and high-quality media services such as UHD images, VR images, and 3D images through 5G network.
SK Telecom carried out this test by utilizing 28GHz high frequency bandwidth from 5G trial network that was installed within 2.6km of track located inside of BMW Driving Center.
Although it is faster to spend data from high frequency bandwidth, it is difficult to avoid obstacles due to strong tendency of signals going straight and distance that data can be sent to is very short.
In order to solve these problems, SK Telecom utilized ‘beam forming’ and fast ‘beam tracking’ technologies that allow signals to be sent only to telecommunication devices that are moving at an ultra-fast speed. It is a similar concept as how spotlight is shone to single actor or actress. These are technologies that are absolutely needed in order to commercialize 5G network.
It is expected that these technologies can be a help for vitalizing variety of 5G services since they can be also used for public transportations that are moving at fast speed, drones, and robots. It will be possible to view VR contents in real-time from express buses in the future.
Because 5G network was successful from a car that was moving at an ultra-fast speed, it is likely that this will help accelerate SK Telecom’s ‘NEW ICT Industry Promotion Plan’. SK Telecom has included connected cars and self-driving cars to NEW ICT Ecosystem in which SK Telecom is focusing its investments into.
“Not only will SK Telecom’s innovative 5G technologies affect ‘connected car’ that is seen as a Smart Car in the future but they will also greatly affect industries that are related to 5G network.” said Director Park Jin-hyo of SK Telecom Network Technical Institute. “We are going to be at the front with other major global businesses in providing and commercializing world’s first 5G trial services.”
Staff Reporter Kim, Yongju | kyj@etnews.com

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