5G cross-investment takes Deutsche Telekom and SK Telecom closer together

5G cross-investment takes Deutsche Telekom and SK Telecom closer together

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Deutsche Telekom and South Korea’s SK Telecom have agreed to invest in each other’s start-ups as part of a developing partnership for 5G mobile.

SK Telecom will invest in California-based MobiledgeX, an edge computing company founded by Deutsche Telekom. At the same time Deutsche Telekom plans to invest the same amount in ID Quantique (IDQ), a Geneva-based specialist in quantum cryptography communications technology.

Deutsche Telekom CEO Tim Höttges (pictured, with the CEO of SK Telecom) said: “The partnership will help both companies to strengthen our global technology leadership and bring 5G and other innovative services to our customers.”

Neither company said how much they are investing in each other’s start-ups, except that they are “equal amounts”.

The deal is the latest move in what is becoming an increasingly close relationship between the two companies.

In 2016 the two founded Ngena, a cloud, internet of things (IoT) and 5G partnership, which has since been joined by a number of other carriers.

The following year they set up the Quantum Alliance, to promote quantum computing, and in August 2017 SK Telecom CTO Choi Jin-sung (Alex Jin-sun Choi) became CTO of Deutsche Telecom.

In July this year SK Telecom used its quantum safe system on Deutsche Telekom’s trial quantum network.

That last trial is followed by Deutsche Telekom’s investment in SK Telecom’s quantum cryptography specialist IDQ. The Korean company acquired more than 50% of IDQ’s shares in February 2018.

SK Telecom and Deutsche Telekom say they have made their cross-investment decision to gain leadership in the upcoming era of 5G by offering specialised 5G services with ultra-low latency, while addressing potential security threats against financial institutions and public agencies.

The two companies said they “have decided to share their technologies and knowhow to gain leadership in the global 5G market”.

Deutsche Telekom said it is considering the adoption of the quantum cryptography communication system. SK Telecom and Deutsche Telekom are in the process of qualifying IDQ’s quantum cryptography technologies on their respective trial networks.

They are also reviewing the idea of using mobile edge computing technologies to reduce data transfer time. The two companies will also strengthen their cooperation in diverse new business areas including augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR). They said they will exchange their knowhow and expertise in realistic media technologies and support SK Telecom’s efforts to launch its media solutions in the European market.

They said will also provide joint support to promising start-ups in Korea and Europe to help them advance into overseas markets.

Park Jung-ho, president and CEO of SK Telecom, said: “SK Telecom is pleased to enter into a cross-investment agreement with Deutsche Telekom as it will serve as a valuable opportunity for us to further solidify our 5G leadership in the global market and drive new growth.”



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