Samsung & SK Telecom Test 5G Next-Generation Core Technology

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Samsung Electronics and the South Korean carrier SK Telecom recently announced that it had successfully tested the 5G Next-Generation Core (5G NC) network technology that the two companies jointly developed. The 5G NC technology of the two companies is based on the 3GPP Release-15 standards, and it is independent of the 4G LTE network. The 5G NC technology will likely be utilized by Standalone 5G NR, as opposed to the non-standalone implementation of the standard which will still use the core infrastructure of LTE networks. Moreover, the 5G NC technology utilizes the HTTP standard, which results in a seamless connection between the 5G network and web-based services. The integration of the HTTP standard enables startup firms to easily create new 5G services. The two companies further claimed in its announcement that other improvements incorporated into the technology allow 5G NC to offer improved operational stability and enhanced user experience.

The 5G NC technology developed by the two tech firms supports Control and User Planes Separation, Network Slicing, and Virtualized Network Functions. Network Slicing is a technology that allows 5G networks to run multiple versions of network functions on top of shared physical network infrastructure. This technology allows a carrier to allocate different data speeds, capacity, or bandwidth to a specific use case. For example, data from telemedicine firms could be transmitted with lower latency compared to other use cases, while ultra-high resolution images and videos will be allocated with higher data speeds. The two companies also emphasize that this recent trial is the first test of 5G NC technology that is compliant with the standards set by the 3GPP and is also capable of implementing Virtualized Network Functions. Support for this software feature allows the 5G NC to run various network applications, processes, and services on virtual machines.

Samsung is actively engaged in the development and testing of 5G network equipment within the last few years. The South Korean tech giant has collaborated with the Japanese carrier KDDI to test mobile 5G in environments like fast-moving trains and the company has also partnered with Charter Communications for testing of a 5G system using the 28GHz frequency.