SK Telecom and Ericsson Show Off Elastic Cell, A Key Enabler for 5G
SK Telecom and Ericsson have demonstrated a key enabler for future 5G networks the so called Elastic Cell technology which can boost mobile data speeds at the edges of cell boundaries.
Elastic cell, also known as Flexible Cell, is a new technology that enables multiple cells near the handset to cooperate for every transmission, compared to the current cell-centric one where each handset communicates with only one specific cell.
A serving cell receives information on nearby cells from a handset and selects a group of cells that can improve the network quality in the cell-edge for transmission while temporarily turning off the cells that cause interferences. As a result, Elastic Cell can ensure more seamless data transmission by preventing possible quality degradation that can occur when the handset moves across cell boundaries.
According to SK Telecom and Ericsson, the demonstration confirmed that the technology can improve data transfer rate by up to 50 percent at the cell boundary areas compared to the existing LTE network.
With an aim to commercialize Elastic Cell by 2016, SK Telecom will continue to advance the technology.
Once applied, Elastic Cell will enable SK Telecom to provide the most optimized network service to each individual device regardless of its location while bringing the company one step closer to achieving the goal of ‘1Gbps data throughput anywhere’ which is also one of major issues in the minds of ‘METIS (Mobile and wireless communications Enablers for the Twenty-twenty Information Society)’, an EU project for 5G research, and 5G Forum, an industry-academia R&D partnership for 5G in Korea.
Park Jin-hyo, Senior Vice President and Head of Network Technology R&D Center at SK Telecom, said:
“SK Telecom, together with Ericsson, succeeded in the world’s first demonstration of Elastic Cell which is expected to become a prerequisite for the next generation network. We will continue to take the lead in developing a variety of technologies necessary to evolve cells.”
Earlier on July 6, the two companies signed a memorandum of understanding at Ericsson’s headquarters in Stockholm, Sweden for joint research on 5G technologies.