SK Telecom today announced plans to launch the world’s first pilot LTE-M (LTE for Maritime Wireless Communications) network, as part of a research and development project led by the Ministry of Oceans and Fisheries (MOF).
LTE-M supports high-speed wireless telecommunications on ships located approximately 100 kilometers from shore. In particular, LTE-M is expected to significantly enhance navigation safety of small ships that have relatively poor inbuilt communication and safety system than large vessels.
SK Telecom plans to deploy the test network by May 2016 in the East Sea of Korea. Radio signals transmitted from a high-gain antenna located at high altitude in the eastern coast will be received by LTE-M router installed on a ship to be converted to Wi-Fi.
To this end, the company will develop a high-gain antenna that covers up to 100 kilometers offshore as well as an LTE-M router that can receive LTE signals in a stable manner in the maritime environment by withstanding high humidity, strong wind and salt-laden atmosphere.
“SK Telecom will successfully deploy LTE-M, high-speed maritime wireless communications network, by leveraging its extensive expertise in communications technologies, and thereby contribute to enhanced safety of ships,” said Choi Seung-won, Senior Vice President and Head of Network Strategy Office.