Ericsson and SK Telecom signed an MoU to jointly develop technologies that could form 5G standards.
The announcement follows a demo last week in which the Swedish vendor showed off pre-standard 5G to a group of senior executives from SK Telecom and NTT Docomo.
Next generation small cells, ultra wideband, low latency technology, converged FDD/TDD and Gigabyte-level data transmission all feature on the two companies’ wish list for 5G.
However both will continue to work together if additional technologies are found necessary for the next-generation standard, the duo said.
The aim is to stage a 5G demonstration at the Pyeongchang 2018 Winter Olympics.
Thomas Noren, Ericsson’s vice president and head of product area radio, said South Korea is leading on 4G, in terms of both technology and subscriber numbers. And SK Telecom is the country’s leading 4G operator, he said.
“They are early drivers of technology and we see them as an important partner in defining new opportunities, innovations and requirements for the continued evolution of LTE and towards 5G,” said Noren.
Ericsson is eager to take a leading role in 5G although CTO Ulf Ewaldsson acknowledged last week to Mobile World Live that the industry risks overhyping the technology.
At the wider level, the European Union struck an agreement last month with South Korea’s government , a sign of how Europe wants to tap into the Asian country’s mobile expertise.
The EU and South Korea will work together on defining what 5G actually means, as well as push for harmonised radio spectrum and global 5G standards to ensure interoperability.