South Korean mobile operator LG Uplus will expand its 5G coverage by installing Nokia’s AirScale equipment across the country to enable seamless connectivity in indoor and outdoor locations.
The deal is expected to accommodate future network expansion and will further deepen the partnership between the two companies, which have already collaborated on LTE, 5G and digital projects.
Indeed, this latest partnership between the two companies further cements their intention to empower enterprises in South Korea to use 5G to deliver new smart digital services and to further advance industry 4.0 across the country.
“Nokia’s AirScale system will help provide seamless 5G connectivity in indoor locations and environments. Its cost-effective, flexibility and compact design enables us to enhance our 5G offering,” said DaeHee Kim, senior vice president and head of Network Infra Technology Group at LG Uplus.
Being the first deployment of its kind in South Korea, Nokia will install its cost-effective, next-generation small cell AirScale Indoor (ASiR) systems in a range of indoor locations including shopping malls and office buildings. Composed of Nokia’s Digital Baseband unit and ASiR-pRRH solution (pico Remote Radio Head), the system features multi-operator and multi-band support and will enable LG Uplus to provide 5G connectivity.
The compact and flexible nature of the ASiR indoor system means it can be deployed quickly in strategic locations when additional capacity is required and is ideal for both consumers and enterprise customers. ASiR facilitates a simple service upgrade to 5G New Radio with minimal on-site working if required, and features a web-based manager, enabling remote configuration without need for a separate application - making it an ideal replacement for traditional, complex and expensive distributed antenna system (DAS) systems - with flexibility further enhanced by cell combination and splitting.
“We are delighted to have been chosen by LG Uplus to provide infrastructure that will be critical to a seamless 5G experience. Having worked with LG Uplus on a number of other recent projects, we believe the AirScale system is the right Tommi Uitto, president - mobile networks at Nokia.
Enabling smart digital services with 5G
The latest equipment deal between the two companies follows on the heels of another agreement announced last month that Nokia will conduct a 5G Business-to-Business (B2B) digital platform trial for LG Uplus.
Once deployed, the platform will allow LG Uplus to reduce time-to-market for launching 5G-powered services to its enterprise and business vertical customers. The platform will also enable LG Uplus to address new business segments, including Industry 4.0, and smart factory.
After deployment, the solution will promote the use of 5G by enterprises and verticals to grow their business, aligning with the South Korean government's Digital New Deal initiative.
The proof-of-concept test of the 5G B2B digital platform will be completed in two phases starting in February. While the first phase involves a demonstration in the Nokia Lab, the second phase with a field trial is planned in the LG Uplus Regional Operation Center in KyungNam.
"We are committed to providing best-in-class and innovative services to our customers and this trial is a crucial step in this direction. Once deployed, Nokia’s 5G B2B digital platform will help us expand our enterprise business by allowing us to provide new use cases rapidly. Nokia is our trusted partner and we look forward to working with them on this important trial,” said Jaeyong Seo, vice president of Smart Infrastructure Business Unit at LG Uplus.
Nokia's 5G B2B digital platform is based on multi-domain technology and ensures full automation and near real-time delivery of services. The solution includes a service platform powered by Nokia’s Digital Operations software, Cloud Operations Manager, Network Exposure Function, Registers, Cloud Packet Core, Software Defined Networking, and gNB (5G version of eNodeB), across Nokia’s cloud platform.
LG Uplus will use the platform to cost-efficiently automate the design and deployment of 5G network slices for the delivery of new services. In addition, LG Uplus' enterprise customers will be able to leverage 5G capabilities to enhance their business and operational efficiency leading to overall economic gain.
The service will give LG Uplus customers the flexibility to directly control and manage the platform to meet their needs. Further, it will help LG Uplus offer newer use cases such as smart factory and smart harbour with 5G wireless connectivity and associated services like network slicing.
We are excited to conduct this pathbreaking trial for LG Uplus to enable its enterprise customers to improve business processes with 5G,” said Kevin Ahn, head of Korea, at Nokia. “Nokia’s 5G B2B digital platform will allow LG Uplus to transform its B2B service creation with agility and automation and delight its enterprise customers with new use cases and operational excellence.”