A new venture created by Korean carrier SK Telecom and German telecommunications giant Deutsche Telekom will initially develop 5G-based in-building solutions, the two companies said in a joint statement.
In a recent meeting in Seoul, Korea, the two partners agreed to establish a joint venture company, which will be first tasked with developing new 5G technologies, including a 5G repeater and a 5G in-building solution, as well as a Multipath UDP solution and MPEG Media Transport (MMT) technology for low-latency media streaming.
“Through partnerships with companies throughout the world, SK Telecom aims to expand beyond the realm of mobile communications to become a global ICT company,” said Park Jung-ho, president and CEO of SK Telecom. “And I expect this, in turn, will lead to the revaluation of assets and competitiveness of SK Telecom.”
“This partnership continues to be of strategic importance for both Deutsche Telekom and SK Telecom,” saaid Timotheus Höttges, CEO of Deutsche Telekom. “We want to work together to make tangible [results] and strengthen our partnership also with closer technical cooperation.”
Additionally, SK Telecom has committed $30 million to DTCP’s $350 million venture and Growth Fund II. The company’s decision represents an additional measure to secure future growth engines by making proactive investments in promising high-growth companies in the 5G era, the Korean carrier said.
DTCP is an investment management group with $ 1.7 billion assets under management and advisory from Deutsche Telekom and other corporate and institutional investors, and a portfolio of over 60 companies. The group is dedicated to providing venture and growth capital, private equity investments, and advisory services to the technology, media and telecommunication sectors. It operates and invests in Europe, the U.S. and Israel.
Following Sk Telecom’s investment, DTCP will open an Asian office in Seoul and work closely with SK Telecom to identify and foster investment opportunities in the Asian technology segment.
In February, SK Telecom and Deutsche Telekom signed a Memorandum of Understanding at Mobile World Congress Barcelona 2019 to accelerate the strategic partnership between the two companies. Since then, they have been seeking technological partnership opportunities while evaluating diverse options to optimize their partnership, including joint participation in development, marketing, investment, and the establishment of a joint venture entity.
SK Telecom, as well as rival operators in Korea had launched commercial 5G services in the country in April this year.
South Korea is expected to reach countrywide coverage with 5G technology in two or three years, Dan Warren, head of 5G Research at Samsung Research U.K., recently said during a keynote presentation at the 7th Global 5G Event, which took place in Valencia, Spain, last week.
Warren said that Korean carriers are currently providing 5G coverage in dense urban areas in 85 cities across the Asian country. By the end of this year, 5G coverage will be also extended to rural and suburban areas in these 85 cities, the executive said.