SK Telecom will open a new era of 5G by creating railway communications that are 10 times faster than before.

On July 11, 2019, SK Telecom signed a contract with Korea Rail Network Authority to start a project for the "Purchase and installation of DWDM for the Gunjang Industrial Zone Inbound Railway and four other projects."

A consortium jointly established by SK Telecom, WooriNet Inc., and several others won the contract for a project to establish railway communication networks with DWDM in the southern regions of Korea including Gwangju, Daejeon, Daegu, and Busan, excluding the capital region. The contract term ends on Dec 31, 2020 and the total contract amount is roughly KRW 6.8 billion.

DWDM transmission devices transmit signals through light wavelengths. Since all communications are done through DWDM networks from LTE-R (the integrated railway wireless network), KTCS (the communication system for trains) to surveillance cameras and computerized communications such as train ticket reservation, these devices are regarded as the essential core infrastructure for railway communications.

In particular, the ROTN devices recently acquired from Ciena in the United States are cutting-edge technological products that boast not only the transmission of large volumes of data in wave units, but also communication via various bypass paths for each line.

As part of the "Plan for the Establishment of an Optical Transport Network for Railways" based on "The Third National Railway Network Plan and the Basic Plan for Intelligent Transit System," this project will establish large-capacity backbone networks (Southern Ring) in Seoul, Daejeon, Busan, and other areas, which is a continuation of another project called the "Purchase and Installation of Wonju-to-Gangneung Wavelength Division Multiplexing" that was contracted by the SK Telecom Consortium in 2016. As the national DWDM network builder chosen by Korea Rail Network Authority, SK Telecom will expand the networks by introducing this network to all major train stations in Korea.

As SKT was put in charge of this project, it is believed that the “new era of 5G” has just begun. As the communication speed of 10 Gbps of the previous wired network will skyrocket to 100 Gbps, which is 10 times faster than before, safe and stable communications between KTX trains, which run at 300 km/hr or faster, are made possible. Also, the current LTE-R that only allows the transmission of radio messages between crew members will be upgraded to support multimedia services.

"By applying OTN switching technology, the next-generation transmission standards, to the national backbone network for the first time, the SK Telecom Consortium will secure ultra-low latency, ultra-high speed, large capacity, and the most stable optical transport network,” said Il-kyu Choi, the head of the SK Telecom B2B Business Department, adding, "Just like it has always done, SKT will make its best efforts to open a new era of next-generation LTE-R."

About SK Telecom
SK Telecom is the largest mobile operator in Korea with nearly 50 percent of the market share. As the pioneer of all generations of mobile networks, the company has commercialized the fifth generation (5G) network on December 1, 2018 and announced the first 5G smartphone subscribers on April 3, 2019. With its world’s best 5G, SK Telecom is set to realize the Age of Hyper-Innovation by transforming the way customers work, live and play. Building on its strength in mobile services, the company is also creating unprecedented value in diverse ICT-related markets including media, security and commerce.

About Ciena
Ciena (NYSE: CIEN) is a networking systems, services and software company. We provide solutions that help our clients create the Adaptive Network™ in response to the constantly changing demands of their users. By delivering best-in-class networking technology through high-touch consultative relationships, we build the world’s most agile networks with automation, openness and scale. For updates on Ciena, follow us on Twitter @Ciena, LinkedIn, the Ciena Insights blog, or visit

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