SK Telecom Demos eICIC, Plans Commercialization in H2 2013

SK Telecom

SK Telecom has announced demonstration of a LTE-Advanced technology named 'Enhanced Inter-Cell Interference Coordination (eICIC)' under cooperation with Qualcomm and Nokia Siemens Networks. SK Telecom expects to commercialize eICIC in the second half of 2013 to control signal interference and effectively offload data in downtown areas that experience heavy data traffic so as to provide customers with a mobile data service with greater speed and stability.

To demonstrate the technology, SK Telecom, Nokia Siemens Networks and Qualcomm created an environment where the strength of micro base station signals being transmitted to mobile devices was weaker than that of nearby macro base signals, resulting in signal interference. Then, they applied eICIC to prove that it can actually control the interference and stabilize data communications. The companies also succeeded in showing that the technology is capable of offloading data traffic by adjusting the coverage of micro base stations based on the level of data traffic concentration in macro and micro base stations. As commercial base station equipment has been used for the demonstration, the companies are expecting to achieve early commercialization of eICIC.

eICIC is a technology that coordinates signal interference between macro and pico base stations and is rapidly gaining importance as more and more micro base stations are being built in traffic concentrated areas to accommodate explosive data traffic growth, thereby aggravating inter-cell interference. 

The company has already successfully demonstrated Coordinated Multi-Point (CoMP) at Mobile World Congress (MWC) 2011 and Carrier Aggregation (CA) at MWC 2012. CoMP is a technology that prevents base station interference and abrupt call disconnections in coverage boundary areas by enhancing signal strength, the lack of which leads to a significant drop in data transmission speed, and CA is a technology that provides twice or faster data rates by utilizing multiple frequency bands at the same time.

The operator has earlier commercialized CoMP, in January 2012, after adjusting the technology to suit the current LTE system, and plans to achieve early commercialization of CA in the second half of 2013.

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