SK Telecom, Deutsche Telekom form joint venture to combat coronavirus


SK Telecom has entered into a technology partnership with Deutsche Telekom to alleviate challenges caused by the Covid-19 coronavirus outbreak.

The companies say that with the outbreak of the novel coronavirus throughout the globe, network infrastructure and online solutions are becoming ever more important to seamlessly support people’s new way of living. In response to this, executives from the two firms have discussed detailed plans to utilise their ICT, including 5G, artificial intelligence (AI) and mobile edge computing (MEC), to help improve the current situation and thoroughly prepare for the post-coronavirus era. 

SK Telecom and Deutsche Telekom have been working closely since 2016 to lead innovations in ICT, and this has seen the sharing of fixed and wireless technologies. Through their joint venture, the two leading operators will collaborate to expand the global 5G ecosystem by accelerating 5G deployment in Europe. As part of this, they have constructed a Network Engineer Exchange Programme that will see them exchange their respective technological expertise once the situation with Covid-19 improves.

SK Telecom’s network engineers will be sent to Germany to share their know-how in 5G network commercialisation and operation, as well as their experience in handling data traffic surges caused by a dramatic increase in the number of people at home using high-bandwidth services such as video conferencing.

SK Telecom has already provided its 5G repeaters to Deutsche Telekom to support its customer trial for 5G indoor coverage in Germany and plans to promote the adoption of its 5G repeaters in Europe. The two companies will also develop diverse MEC use cases and AI-powered solutions including immersive video calling and smart meeting solutions. The two companies have also decided to increase Deutsche Telekom Capital Partners’ investment in Korean 5G start-ups as well as global ventures with competitive online solutions such as video platforms and cloud call centres.

Commenting on the joint venture, Park Jung-ho, president and CEO of SK Telecom said. “The current global crisis can be effectively addressed if we, ICT companies, join forces with our technology and expertise. SK Telecom will continue to work closely with Deutsche Telekom to flawlessly support our customers in this new normal era brought by the coronavirus.”

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