SK Telecom, Korea’s largest telecommunications company, and Rohde & Schwarz announced that they have signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) on joint research and development of next-generation antenna technologies.

Under the MOU, SK Telecom and Rohde & Schwarz will work together to create a test bed for AAS, a core technology in next-generation antenna systems, for performance verification. Under this agreement, the two companies will also conduct research and development for next-generation antenna system equipment. Rohde & Schwarz will provide SK Telecom with signal generators (R&S SMW200A, R&S SGS100A) and a radio network analyzer (R&S TSMW).

As part of an initiative by SK Telecom to enhance the performance of its LTE Advanced/LTE network, the company has currently been focusing on promoting network evolution through small cell technologies. In particular, it has suggested a differentiated technology concept called SUPER Cell to expand network capacity and improve data quality.

Moreover, in line with its SUPER Cell concept, SK Telecom has been focusing on research and development of next-generation antenna systems since 2011 to dramatically improve data speeds. In particular, AAS is a comprehensive antenna technology that can be applied to all types of networks, including LTE-Advanced. It is also capable of increasing the number of radio channels between a base station and handset by several to tens of times.

AAS will allow customers to experience high-quality service even in areas of high data traffic, since the antenna can coordinate the amount of radio signals to be sent from the base station.

“We are pleased to join hands with SK Telecom, the world’s top LTE service provider, to research and develop next-generation antenna technologies,” said Christian Leicher, President and COO of Rohde & Schwarz. “We hope that our joint efforts will serve as a basis for developing the most innovative network technologies that will drive further evolution of telecommunications network.”

“Joint research and development between SK Telecom, a mobile operator, and Rohde & Schwarz, a manufacturer of T&M equipment for communications networks, will generate synergies in the development of next-generation network technologies. And with these technologies, we will continue to provide our customers with high-quality services,” said Choi Jin-sung, Head of the ICT R&D Division at SK Telecom.