SK Telecom announced the introduction of a new Wi-Fi technology that can deliver speed as fast as 5G technology. For the first time in South Korea, the technology successfully demonstrated speeds of up to 4.8Gbps at SK Telecom's Bundang Center.
The technology was built on the IEEE 802.11ax standard, delivering speeds of up to 4.8Gbps, which is nearly four times faster than the existing gigabit Wi-Fi service - 1.3Gbps, 802.11ac - currently prevailing among smartphones. The technology uses four antennas to transmit data and uses 160 MHz bandwidth, twice wider than the gigabit Wi-Fi service, and operates in the 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz spectrums.
Once the technology is commercially implemented, SK Telecom believes it will play a tremendous role in delivering sufficient wireless access in any dense traffic scenarios. It features the OFDMA, Multi-user MIMO as well as the Dynamic Sensitivity Control (DSC) technology that are designed to improve the efficiency of the network.
Given the 802.11ax chipsets already released in the market by global makers, the next generation Wi-Fi service is expected to be commercially available for smartphones next year. Smartphones equipped with the chipset theoretically deliver a speed of up to 1.2Gbps in 80 MHz with two antennas.
SK Telecom is planning to deploy access points for the next generation Wi-Fi next year particularly in high traffic density areas. Users with the new chipset-based smartphones will benefit from the new technology.
At present, a testbed has been constructed within the T Open Lab, the company's R&D Center at Bundang to test the performance of the new technology in various deployment scenarios including high traffic density. It is also working on upgrading the access points to the commercially deployable level by the end of this year.
Since 2014, SK Telecom has taken part in the nation's IEEE 802.11ax standard research group, led by the Ministry of Science and ICT, along with small and mid-sized companies. Its participation has resulted in many new technologies applied to the global standards with relevant patents obtained.
"By introducing the technology for the next generation Wi-Fi that can deliver as fast as 5G technology, we at SK Telecom have successfully laid foundation to offer better mobile services," said Park Jin-hyo, Senior Vice President and Head of Network Technology R&D Center at SK Telecom.
Park added, "We are thrilled to work on the preparation of commercializing the technology and continue to innovate our capabilities to provide differentiated services to our customers."