South Korean cellular carrier, SK Telecom, has signed a Memorandum of Understanding, or MOU, with America’s largest carrier, Verizon Wireless, in order to further wireless technologies. The Memorandum covers a number of current and next generation networking standards including LTE, the Internet of Things (IoT), networking virtualisation and working towards the standardisation of 5G networking. The two carriers have already been working together on a number of technical projects and earlier in the year formed a global initiative called the 5G Open Trial Specification Alliance. In the words of SK Telecom’s Chief Technical Officer, Alex Jinsung Choi, “This MOU will further strengthen and deepen our collaboration with Verizon.”
Other projects included in the Memorandum include the Open Compute Project (OCP) and Mobile Central Office Re-architected as a Datacenter (M-CORD). The Open Compute Project is the ethos behind building the most efficient server design for a scaleable computing system, which lends itself well to cloud computing. M-CORD is a project around reorganising CORD (Central Office Re-architected as a Datacenter, which is a way for a business to replace rooms full of servers with a cloud connection) with mobile networking technologies. The technologies that SK Telecom and Verizon Wireless will be cooperating on are interlinked, as many Internet of Things designs are likely to be at least partially reliant on cloud computing, which itself can be built to be more efficient using OCP, M-CORD and networking virtualisation schemes.
Verizon Wireless and American telecommunications regulator, the FCC, have already been discussing the 5G technologies. The FCC is improving how quickly new network technologies can be put into place to hopefully accelerate the deployment of 5G networking. Verizon has been working with Asian telecom operators since 2015, where in South Korea the carriers wish establish a 5G network ready for the 2018 Winter Olympic Games. Japanese carrier, NTT DoCoMo, has plans to launch a 5G network in time for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. Verizon’s networking expertise with both help its partners and of course it’s own continental American 5G network when it is ready to deploy. America’s largest carrier is already planning to have the first 5G fixed mobile service launched in North America and has ambitious plans to be staging a trial service next year.