Once again, Asia will be on the cutting edge of what’s new in telecom.
South Korea will host field trials of a fifth-generation telecom network during the second half of 2017, according to partners Qualcomm Inc., equipment maker Ericsson and South Korean carrier SK Telecom.
The trials will accelerate wide deployment and rapid commercialization of such a 5G network, the companies said in a joint statement.
Some U.S. carriers now use advanced fourth-generation networks.
Qualcomm (Nasdaq: QCOM), the San Diego chipmaker and wireless engineering firm, sees business ahead in the speedier wireless standard.
Fifth-generation networks are expected to send and receive data at multi-gigabit per second rates. (For comparison, cable providers such as Cox Communications are now advertising 1 gigabit data rates as some of the speediest on the residential market. Such speeds allow a person to download a high-definition movie in less than a minute.)
The speed of 5G will aid cloud computing and virtual reality, the three partners said in a statement.
“5G is the greatest opportunity our industry has ever experienced,” said a statement from an Ericsson executive. “It will enable operators to move into new markets and build new revenue streams with radically new business models and use cases,” said Ulf Ewaldsson, the Swedish company’s senior vice president and chief technology officer.
Qualcomm and its partners brought previous generations of wireless networks to Asia first. SK Telecom was the world’s first company to commercialize the original code division multiple access standard, as well as following versions called CDMA 2000 1x and CDMA EV-DO.