Researchers of SK Telecom work on 5G networks. Samsung Electronics announced that it had collaborated with SK Telecom to succeed in a trial of combining 5G and 4G on a commercial 5G standalone network. Photo courtesy of Samsung Electronics

SK Telecom, Samsung completes new trial in 5G network

South Korea’s Samsung Electronics announced on Feb. 25 that the company had cooperated with SK Telecom to complete a test of combining 5G and 4G on a commercial 5G standalone network.

The former is the world’s largest manufacturer of memory chips, mobile phones, and flat-panel displays. The latter is South Korea’s leading wireless operator.

Samsung said that they had verified the 5G Option 4 technology at the SKT research center to achieve the equal data speed as the NSA, using 175MHz of bandwidth.

Observers point out that 5G Option 4 is regarded as a more advanced option than the existing 5G standalone mode (SA Option 2) and provides the equivalent level of speed and quality as the NSA.

They note that SA Option 4 helps operators deliver innovative services including Urban Air Mobility (UAM), automated vehicles, remote control for heavy equipment, and remote control robots, to name but a few.

“While we supported the launch of the world’s first commercial 5G services in Korea, we are excited to continue spearheading the advancement of 5G through 5G SA technology, which will power innovative 5G services by leveraging the world-class LTE network that is well established in Korea,” SK Telecom Vice President Park Jong-kwan said.

“We will continue to expand our collaboration with industry leaders to continue driving this advanced technology and in growing this 5G SA ecosystem, to demonstrate new ways to tap the full potential of next-generation networks.”

Samsung Executive Vice President Moon June said that the success through the two-way alliance would be a significant milestone.

“Through this commercial trial, Samsung is proud to collaborate with SK Telecom to achieve another milestone in advancing 5G SA technology, demonstrating the equal performance as NSA with 5G Option 4 technology in 5G SA mode,” he said.

“We look forward to continuing collaborating with SKT for the development and commercialization of advanced 5G SA technology to deliver market-leading services to consumers and diverse use cases across the industry.”

Hillary Lee studied literature in Seoul. Lee has big interests on various topics including IT, BT, business and finance. Lee can be reached at or 82-2-6956-6698.