SK Telecom Switches to Nex-Gen 5G Network

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The engineers of SK Telecom used the prototype 5G smartphone of Samsung for the first call over 5G network

South Korean wireless telecomm operator SK Telecom announced on Saturday that it has switched on the next generation 5G network. However, the company did not disclose the 5G tariffs for business and residential customers.

The first call over the commercial 5G network was made by Park Jung-ho, CEO, SK Telecom to Park Sook-hee, Manager, SK Telecom. The engineers of the company used prototype 5G smartphone of Samsung for the 5G call.

Currently, the 5G network of SK Telecom covers major areas of 13 cities and counties country-wide, including Seoul.

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First enterprise customer

The first 5G enterprise customer of SK Telecom, Myunghwa Industry, started operating the 5G-Artifical Intelligence (AI) Machine Vision solution on December 1, 2018. Myunghwa is an auto parts company and will use the solution for testing product quality.

The 5G network will support the auto company in taking photos of auto components on conveyor belts from multiple angles using 12 million-pixel cameras and transmit them to cloud server over the 5G network. The AI in the cloud server will then instantaneously scan the photos for any defects.

SK Telecom also conducted test-drive of 5G self-driving cars, which use the company’s 5G network for exchanging surroundings information with traffic lights and control center, dozens of times in a second.

Subscribers base

SK Telecom has LTE subscribers base of 22.87 million and yearly revenue of 17.520 trillion South Korean won. The company is planning to boost its 5G-AI ecosystem and to open a 5G Device Test Lab to assist small and medium-sized manufacturers of devices.

In September, SK Telecom’s main competitor KT Group, announced that it will invest around 23 trillion won ($20.4 billion) over the next five years in 5G network and other advanced technologies.

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