SK Telecom, a leading South Korean mobile carrier, announced that it set up a joint venture with German mobile carrier Deutsche Telekom to develop advanced 5G in-building solutions targeting the global market.
In-building solutions such as indoor repeaters extend mobile operators’ cellular signals indoors with high-quality mobile communication.
Under the agreement, SK Telecom and Deutsche Telekom would equally own the joint venture with its headquarters located in Germany. The venture’s management would consist of two CEOs from both companies and four shareholder representatives. The company would begin with the required authorizations from related organizations by the end of this year.
Park Jung-ho, an SKT CEO, stated that the partnership came at a significant moment amid the COVID-19 pandemic that affected many people worldwide.
According to SKT, the venture would pioneer the market for 5G repeaters to enable optimum 5G indoor coverage. The repeaters would amplify radio frequency signals involving higher frequency bands, which generate weak signals that cannot penetrate buildings.
Deutsche Telekom already conducted initial 5G/LTE dual-mode repeaters for in-building coverage in eight German cities. Hamburg, Bonn, Cologne, Berlin, Frankfurt, Leipzig, Darmstadt, and Munich used the service for three months from August to October 2020.
Expanding 5G In-Building Solutions Globally
SK Telecom said that its customers experienced considerable improvement in 5G and LTE for both voice and data. The company would market the upgraded repeater in the first half of 2021 based on the pilot testing outcome.
The companies would also promote cooperation in augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR) services, mobile edge computing (MEC), and the app market. Additionally, SKT invested in MobiledgeX, an edge computing company established by Deutsche Telekom, to provide high-speed real-time data processing.
SKT and Deutsche Telekom further decided to start a joint venture for the development of virtual platform technologies. Content and delivery services gained increasing popularity since the pandemic happened, making businesses use “untact” marketing to entice customers.
The industry forecast for the global in-building solution market would increase 10 percent yearly and reach about US$10.33 billion by 2023. The joint venture could quickly establish its presence in the 5G repeater market as there are no significant competitors yet.
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