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Singtel, SK Telecom gear up for 6G future

Both telcos will work together to develop advanced network slicing, telco APIs and edge AI infrastructure, among other capabilities, to pave way for 6G deployments

Singtel and SK Telecom (SKT) are joining forces to accelerate the development of next-generation telecommunications network capabilities in preparation for the roll-out of 6G.

The partnership will focus on developing advanced network slicing capabilities, allowing both companies to create dedicated, customised network slices to meet the specific demands of various industries and society.

Leveraging telco cloud services across core, transport and radio access networks, Singtel and SKT will also push the boundaries of network virtualisation. Their goal is to develop a fully disaggregated mobile network offering increased flexibility, cost-effectiveness and scalability.

To foster the development of next-generation mobile applications capable of leveraging 6G’s integrated data communication, device positioning and radio-based sensing capabilities, the companies will collaborate on standardised telco application programming interfaces (APIs).

The APIs will be accessible through an Open Gateway – an interoperable, federated network built on open standards. This will empower developers to create innovative services in areas such as smart mobility and gaming that can be easily integrated into the network.

Recognising the importance of artificial intelligence (AI), Singtel and SKT will also focus on developing edge AI infrastructure. This will enable AI inferencing at the network edge, enhancing connectivity, delivering unique AI services and enabling faster restoration of telco services.

“The collaboration between SKT and Singtel marks a significant first step in shaping the future of the global telecommunications industry,” said Kang Jong-ryeol, head of ICT infrastructure at SKT. “By combining the strengths of both companies, we aim to achieve significant advancements in next-generation communication technologies such as 6G and AI infrastructure.”

Read more about telecoms in APAC

  • Vonage partners with Telstra to combine network APIs with API platform and 5G network capabilities to enable enterprises to build applications for optimised customer experiences.
  • Azure public multi-access edge compute service in Singapore will let enterprises deploy low-latency workloads and leverage public cloud services in edge locations.
  • Microsoft and Singtel team up on 5G via Azure Stack, enabling organisations to use the latter’s 5G infrastructure to power 5G applications.
  • APAC’s uptake of 5G will continue gathering pace until the end of the decade, but barriers in certain countries mean the region still has one of the largest usage gaps in the world.

Anna Yip, deputy CEO and business development CEO at Singtel Singapore, said Singtel is keen to capitalise on the myriad capabilities of 6G, especially in the areas of network slicing, and with the inclusion of AI. “With SKT, we’re looking to not only enhance the experience of our customers, but to also drive industry innovation and help us prepare for the evolution to 6G,” she added.

The first commercial 6G networks are not anticipated until 2030, with technical and performance requirements currently under development and expected to be finalised by 2027.

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