SK Telecom

SKT and Deutsche Telekom move on 5G repeater market

11 November 2020 | Melanie Mingas

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SK Telecom and Deutsche Telekom have established a joint venture (JV) to develop advanced 5G in-building solutions and capitalise on global growth in demand for 5G repeaters.

Specifically, the two have said their partnership will see them complete the development of an advanced 5G/LTE dual-mode repeater that will help them capture a global market projected to be worth more than US$10 billion within three years. With the JV headquartered in Germany, work will begin in the European market.

In the mid-to-long-term, the two will also evaluate opportunities to cooperate in the areas of augmented reality and virtual reality services, mobile edge computing (MEC) and the app market.

Tim Höttges, CEO of Deutsche Telekom said: “Together with SKT we are able to develop new and innovative products which enhance customer experience. The first feedback from repeater customer trial has shown the value of our partnership for us, but more importantly, for our customers.

“We will start with the repeater, but this joint venture is aiming at a much higher goal. That goal is to create major innovations for both companies in the years to come.”

Each with an equal stake in the partnership, SKT and Deutsche Telekom will nominate one representative to co-lead the new entity.

SKT will also contribute the technology assets it has developed over the years. The company has already provided 5G/LTE dual-mode repeaters to support Telekom’s customer trial for in-building coverage carried out in eight different German cities between August and October this year.

Customer trial results for this demonstrated the test device could drive a “significant improvement” in the user experience for 5G and LTE for both voice and data.

According to the two, the global market for 5G repeaters does not have any “dominant players” at present. Commenting on the situation, SKT and Deutsche Telekom said they expect to be “well-positioned to pioneer the market”, which is expected to reach values of $10.33 billion by 2023.

Park Jung-ho (pictured), CEO of SK Telecom said: “The partnership between SKT and Deutsche Telekom is very meaningful at a time when the world is heavily affected by the Covid-19 pandemic. The deepened bond between the two companies will play an important role as a bridge between Asia and Europe and lead us to new technologies that can bring greater value to humanity.”

The creation of the JV is still subject to mandatory regulatory approval but expected to close before the end of the year.