​South Korea develops 5G, Wi-Fi auto steering tech

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South Korea’s Electronics and Telecommunications Research Institute (ETRI) has developed a core network technology that allows a 5G network to automatically steer users to Wi-Fi.

The government-backed institute said it has filed 30 patents locally and globally in core technology that allows access traffic steering and switching.

Currently, 4G LTE, 3G, and fixed-line networks are operated separately and users determine which network to use, usually in the form of an automatic setting in their smartphones.

This causes disconnection and delays when users watch videos on their smartphones when it switches from LTE to Wi-Fi.

ETRI’s technology will automatically steer traffic from 5G to Wi-Fi or vice versa depending on traffic and quality of service and users won’t have to select access points. It also disperses traffic between services to maintain optimal speed.

Users won’t face the same delays and disconnection they experience in current networks, the institute said, adding that it has been researching the technology since 2015.

3GPP, the global network standard setting body, has laid out the technology for access traffic steering, switching, splitting, (ATSSS), only in concept.

The standardisation process is set to begin in June and be completed by 2020.

ETRI’s technology includes steering, which chooses the optimal access point automatically, and switching, which reconfigures a specific data flow to a specific access point.

South Korea is gearing up for 5G spectrum auction in June this year and plans to commercialise the network by next year.

Australia is also planning an auction in the same period.

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