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- SK Telecom Joins Hands with Intel to Develop Virtualized Next-Generation Intelligent Base Station 2013.10.01
- Enters into MOU with Intel to cooperate in the development of vRAN, a virtualized next-generation intelligent base station that can load and reconfigure all software functions in General Purpose Processor based Server
- Following the world’s first commercialization of LTE-Advanced service and world’s first development of Service-Aware RAN, the company expects to further solidify its technological leadership by accelerating innovation in wireless network structure
SK Telecom (NYSE:SKM) today entered into a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with global IT company Intel for the development of vRAN, virtualized next-generation intelligent base station.
The details of this MOU include:
▲ Building and qualification of the next-generation, intelligent base station test bed, based on virtualization technology and general purpose hardware
▲ Joint research on the next-generation base station solutions to effectively address congested traffic in the in-building environment
▲ Joint research to drive the evolution of the next-generation wireless network, i.e.: intelligent base stations and cloud base stations.
The vRAN technology is one of the innovations that SK Telecom drives for re-designing the structure of the next-generation base station. It is a new type of base station that applies the IT virtualization technology based on the universal hardware such as computer CPUs, and loads all functions in the form of software on the hardware. In other words, like installing and deleting applications in computers, it is able to deploy and delete the base station software that provides a variety of communication functions and intelligent services more easily. Also, it provides more scalability by applying standard interfaces to base station functions.
Most base stations today are based on vertically integrated hardware and software developed and optimized solely on these platforms. It takes a great deal of time to develop the technology and perform new functions enhancements. However, vRAN system will reduce development time and support new technologies simply by upgrading software running on standard high volume servers.
Moreover, with vRAN, SK Telecom will be able to operate its network more efficiently by allocating base station resource in a flexible manner depending on the amount of traffic to offer seamless service anywhere, anytime. It will also offer many new intelligent services by utilizing information gathered by the base stations.
SK Telecom is currently leading discussions on issues regarding the vRAN technology as a co-leader of the NGMN standardization project. The company also plans to strengthen R&D cooperation with global enterprises by participating in a Network Function Virtualization standardization effort in the European Telecommunications Standards Institute (ETSI).
“With the aim to accommodate surging data traffic and secure differentiated competitiveness, SK Telecom has been making aggressive efforts to enhance its network structure by applying cutting-edge IT,” said Choi Jin-sung, Executive Vice President and Head of ICT R&D Division at SK Telecom. “Through this technical cooperation with Intel and successful development of the vRAN technology, we will take the lead in next-generation network evolution.”
“Intel believes that virtualized baseband pooling using server based platforms with Intel processors and acceleration technology enables SK Telecom the flexibility to deploy new applications and services to their customers, thereby providing better user experience. We are confident vRAN will significantly improve operator costs, efficiencies and services introduction, especially for indoor hot-spots, and we are looking forward to working closely with SK Telecom to deliver these capabilities.” said Rose Schooler, VP and General Manager, Communications and Storage Infrastructure Group.