SKT picks Samsung, Nokia, Ericsson as 5G partners

Settings

ⓕ font-size

  • -2
  • -1
  • 0
  • +1
  • +2

SKT picks Samsung, Nokia, Ericsson as 5G partners

By Jun Ji-hye

SK Telecom has picked Samsung Electronics, Nokia and Ericsson as preferred bidders for its fifth-generation (5G) network equipment ahead of the launch of the world's first commercial 5G service next March, Korea's top mobile carrier said Friday.

Huawei, the Chinese 5G network equipment maker, was excluded from the Korean firm's plans to construct nationwide commercial 5G infrastructure amid growing concerns over its network security in the United States, Japan and other countries.

"SK Telecom selected Samsung Electronics, Nokia and Ericsson as preferred bidders to supply 5G equipment in order to realize the world-class 5G quality and vitalize the 5G ecosystem," an SK Telecom official said. "SK Telecom has concluded the three companies possess the capability of leading relevant technologies amid cutthroat competition worldwide in taking the leadership in the 5G market."

SK Telecom became the first company among the three Korean mobile carriers to select 5G equipment partners. The firm said it will finalize remaining procedures as soon as possible and do its best to construct 5G commercial networks.

The telecom company stressed it made the decision after comprehensive consideration on various factors, such as financial element.

Though the Korean firm denied speculation that it excluded the Chinese company due to security concerns, the decision is drawing keen attention as it came amid moves made by several governments _ the United States, Australia and Canada _ to exclude Huawei from their 5G networks.

The decision made by the top mobile carrier is expected to affect the selection of its two domestic rivals' 5G equipment partners.

Korean telecommunication companies have faced a dilemma on whether to adopt Huawei's equipment as it is known to be 20 percent to 30 percent cheaper for advanced technologies compared to others, but is subject to security concerns, initially raised by the U.S. government, a major ally of Korea.

U.S. agencies have long suspected the Chinese government or military may have installed backdoors in Huawei equipment for surveillance, citing Huawei's founder is a former officer in the People's Liberation Army.

The U.S. congressional report also stated in 2012 that Huawei equipment could be used in espionage activities, and in accordance with the government's negative position, AT&T gave up its plan to release Huawei's smartphones in the U.S. market.

But SK Telecom said it has placed great importance on whether 5G equipment is compatible with long-term evolution (LTE) networks, as it is inevitable 5G will have to interwork with LTE networks in the initial phase of 5G commercial services.

The top mobile carrier did not use Huawei's equipment in building LTE networks, either.

Meanwhile, KT, Korea's second-largest mobile carrier, and LG Uplus, the smallest player, said they have yet to decide on 5G equipment suppliers, noting that they are considering every possibility.



By Jun Ji-hye

SK Telecom has picked Samsung Electronics, Nokia and Ericsson as preferred bidders for its fifth-generation (5G) network equipment ahead of the launch of the world's first commercial 5G service next March, Korea's top mobile carrier said Friday.

Huawei, the Chinese 5G network equipment maker, was excluded from the Korean firm's plans to construct nationwide commercial 5G infrastructure amid growing concerns over its network security in the United States, Japan and other countries.

"SK Telecom selected Samsung Electronics, Nokia and Ericsson as preferred bidders to supply 5G equipment in order to realize the world-class 5G quality and vitalize the 5G ecosystem," an SK Telecom official said. "SK Telecom has concluded the three companies possess the capability of leading relevant technologies amid cutthroat competition worldwide in taking the leadership in the 5G market."

SK Telecom became the first company among the three Korean mobile carriers to select 5G equipment partners. The firm said it will finalize remaining procedures as soon as possible and do its best to construct 5G commercial networks.

The telecom company stressed it made the decision after comprehensive consideration on various factors, such as financial element.

Though the Korean firm denied speculation that it excluded the Chinese company due to security concerns, the decision is drawing keen attention as it came amid moves made by several governments _ the United States, Australia and Canada _ to exclude Huawei from their 5G networks.

The decision made by the top mobile carrier is expected to affect the selection of its two domestic rivals' 5G equipment partners.

Korean telecommunication companies have faced a dilemma on whether to adopt Huawei's equipment as it is known to be 20 percent to 30 percent cheaper for advanced technologies compared to others, but is subject to security concerns, initially raised by the U.S. government, a major ally of Korea.

U.S. agencies have long suspected the Chinese government or military may have installed backdoors in Huawei equipment for surveillance, citing Huawei's founder is a former officer in the People's Liberation Army.

The U.S. congressional report also stated in 2012 that Huawei equipment could be used in espionage activities, and in accordance with the government's negative position, AT&T gave up its plan to release Huawei's smartphones in the U.S. market.

But SK Telecom said it has placed great importance on whether 5G equipment is compatible with long-term evolution (LTE) networks, as it is inevitable 5G will have to interwork with LTE networks in the initial phase of 5G commercial services.

The top mobile carrier did not use Huawei's equipment in building LTE networks, either.

Meanwhile, KT, Korea's second-largest mobile carrier, and LG Uplus, the smallest player, said they have yet to decide on 5G equipment suppliers, noting that they are considering every possibility.



Jun Ji-hye jjh@koreatimes.co.kr
LETTER

Sign up for eNewsletter