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SK Telecom to manufacture and sell networking equipment
09/07/2016 | By Yongjoo Kim (kyj@etnews.com)


Now, SK Telecom is transforming itself into a networking equipment provider. It will be manufacturing certain types of equipment to be used in data center through technological cooperation with global partners.


On the 4th, it launched ‘SCube’ (tentative name), a new brand for networking equipment it plans to offer.


SCube equipment was developed by SK Telecom and manufactured by a small-sized local vendor and SK Hynix. Initially, a group of five products, including the following three were released:

  • AF-Media is a streaming server that can read popular videos with most concurrent users on Video on Demand (VoD) service or IPTV real-time broadcasting, and transmit them at high speeds. Based on all-flash, it offers super-fast network speeds of 40 Gigabit Ethernet (GbE) with a surprisingly low power consumption.
  • NV-Array is a next-generation storage device that is equipped with 20 Solid-State Drives (SSDs) instead of Hard Disk Drives (HDDs) for ultra-fast speeds- more than five times faster than conventional storages. Connected with four host computers, it is said to offer enhanced capacity as well.
  • T-Cap is a converged switching server which can have various network applications like Virtual Private Network (VPN) and security added onto switches.   


SCube, specifically designed to harness virtualization technology to achieve great efficiency at lower costs, is said to be most useful in 5G era where ultra-high speed data transmission is required.


The operator has employed the equipment in its commercial network first. AF-Media, introduced in SK Broadband network, was found to be efficient, saving costs by more than 50% compared to conventional equipment. NV-Array is scheduled to be deployed in servers installed in the operator's network in the first half of 2017.


SCube is known to be the fruit of the Open Compute Project (OCP), a global initiative that the operator joined. The OCP, founded by Facebook in 2011, is formed with the aim of reducing costs for operating data center, and is now joined by many global players who share their expertise and ideas. The introduction of SK Telecom's SCube equipment was made possible thanks to the expertise shared through the project combined with the operator's know-how in the field.    


Kangwon Lee, Senior VP of R&D at SK Telecom, was elected as a co-leader of the OCP Telco project. SK Telecom is said to be sharing SCube equipment through the OCP by 2017, and selling them to mobile network operators around the world.


The VP Lee said, "Once deployed in the mobile communication infrastructure, SCube will enable operators to save costs of investment, operation and maintenance, and offer services faster." He added, "We will consolidate our leading position in the global mobile communication market even more by sharing SCube through the OCP." 

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