SK Telecom’s fronthaul technology has been adopted as a Korean national standard. This newly developed 5G network technology was adopted by the Telecommunications Technology Association (TTA) at its annual conference in Seoul.

According to the operator, small and mid-sized equipment vendors will have a friendlier environment in which to do business in Korea due to this. SK explained that a 5G network requires a higher base station density with a higher capacity for data processing than 4G LTE. The significant role of fronthaul in transmitting the radio signals received from cell sites to the central units was stressed by such requirements.

Fronthaul is the wired connection between the central units and the distributed ones. According to the operator, its openness makes the newly developed specifications of fronthaul notable. Most vendors have used their own specifications in the case of LTE fronthaul due to non-existence of official standard. Such variation has served as a hindrance to entry for small- and mid-sized vendors and startups to the market.

With its 5G fronthaul specifications set as a national standard, SK’s approach to open standards is likely to add energy to smaller vendors’ efforts to join the 5G ecosystem in Korea and towards making matters even better, SK Telecom has promised to closely work with local small- and mid-sized vendors to develop network equipment that meet its fronthaul specifications which will also look out for chances for further partnership with stakeholders, both locally and internationally, to increase the adoption of the specifications as a 3GPP standard.