Korean telecommunications company SK Telecom announced that it will provide its 5G repeaters to support Deutsche Telekom’s customer trial for 5G indoor coverage in Germany.
For the trial, SK Telecom will provide 5G repeaters with the aim of providing optimum 5G indoor coverage. The role of repeaters, devices that amplify radio frequency signals, is highlighted in the 5G era as 5G communication often involves the use of higher frequency bands which generate signals that are often too weak to penetrate buildings, the carrier noted. SK Telecom’s 5G repeater is also designed to support LTE signals.
Deutsche Telekom plans to launch the customer trial in the second quarter of this year. Up to 200 testers – both enterprise and individual customers – will participate in the trial.
Deutsche Telekom’s customers can already apply to take part in the trial, which will be offered free of charge.
Going forward, SK Telecom and Deutsche Telekom will analyze customer feedback gained through the trial and discuss plans for further optimization of the 5G repeater with the aim of launching the device in the German market.
“As strategic partners, SK Telecom and Deutsche Telekom have been working together to drive innovations in diverse areas including 5G. This announcement marks the latest achievement of this close collaboration,” said Ha Hyung-il, Vice President and Head of Corporate Center 2 at SK Telecom. “Through the successful implementation of the customer trial for 5G repeater[s], we hope to further improve the experience of Deutsche Telekom customers and strengthen the two companies’ leadership in 5G.”
“Especially for our smaller business customers, it is a great opportunity to equip their premises with fast mobile communications. It allows them and their customers to benefit from the new opportunities offered by 5G,” said Hagen Rickmann, managing director for business customers of Deutsche Telekom in Germany.
Deutsche Telekom kicked off the rollout of its 5G network in a limited number of cities across Germany at the beginning of July 2019. Currently, Telekom’s 5G network is available in Berlin, Bonn, Darmstadt, Munich, Cologne and Hamburg, among other cities.
Deutsche Telekom expected to end 2019 with a total of 450 5G base stations across the country, according to recent press reports. By the end of 2020, the number of 5G sites is expected to climb to nearly 1,500.
During this year, Deutsche Telekom aims to provide the technology in the country’s 16 state capital cities.
SK Telecom will continue to expand its business in the in-building market via 5G technology, the carrier’s CFO, Poong-Young Yoon, previously said in a conference call with investors.
He added that SK Telecom is starting to focus on providing in-building coverage for shopping malls, exhibition halls and airports, among other large venues.
SK Telecom was expecting to extend its in-building coverage points to 1,000 by the end of last year.