Press Release

BICS and SK Telecom named World Communications Awards winners for breakthrough solution offering low latency intercontinental roaming between Asia and Europe

by BICS | November 23, 2023

BICS and SK Telecom named World Communications Awards winners for breakthrough solution offering low latency intercontinental roaming between Asia and Europe
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The successful real-time connection between South Korea and Spain marks a leap forward in high-speed quality connections for consumers and businesses, an accomplishment recognized by the World Communications Awards

International connectivity and 5G enabler BICS, and South Korea’s largest mobile operator SK Telecom (SKT), have today been honored with an award for the World Communications Awards’ “Cloud Award” category, targeting edge computing solutions, in collaboration with Samsung Electronics and AWS.

The collaboration successfully completed a joint roaming breakout trial using BICS’ IPX Transport service, which reached a breakthrough latency of 90 milliseconds in a 5G connection between a mobile device in Spain, and SKT’s mobile network in South Korea. BICS and the South Korean operator have since developed a Roaming Edge Cloud (REC) solution which deploys cloud-based data processing equipment in key overseas countries. This significantly improves roaming service quality with up to an 83% reduction in response time, compared to current roaming services.

Traditional roaming connections consume data to physically travel from one country to another. But while data moves across networks at the speed of light, it isn’t instantaneous. A device’s data traveling from Spain to South Korea over a distance of more than 10,000 km, would usually take around 555 milliseconds to arrive, meaning a six-fold delay referred to in the telco industry as latency. This is barely noticeable in many cases like voice calls, but it’s not fast enough for others, such as mission critical IoT applications that need instant information. For example, sensors for safety-critical elements in self-driving cars, temperature monitors in medical transporters, or customers’ internet connectivity quality all require data processing in real-time.

“This breakthrough builds on the first-ever successful 5G non-Standalone roaming connection, and the 5G Standalone roaming connection between the Middle East and Europe over our industry-leading IPX Transport service. It unlocks new opportunities for mobile operators, equipment manufacturers, and enterprises in the rollout of 5G, and looking to the future will ultimately even pave the way for 6G,” says Mikaël Schachne, VP of Telco Market at BICS. “Accelerating the adoption of 5G on a global scale is a key part of our mission. In collaborating with an innovative mobile partner such as SK Telecom, we’re thrilled to have reached yet another landmark in making real-time connections and next-generation mobile experiences a reality – and we’re thankful and humbled that this achievement has been recognized by an industry-leading awarding body like the World Communications Awards.”

This successful real-time roaming connection achieved by BICS and SKT gets rid of the need for long-distance data travel. It essentially moves users’ traffic onto the region that is closest to the user in the public cloud, not sending it over intercontinental networks. It does this by diverting visiting users to a local breakout spot supported by BICS’ network, then placing them onto SKT’s cloud-native network that can be run anywhere in the world. This greatly increases the speed and strength of all connections. It gives users an even better experience while roaming anywhere in the world.

“The achievement of this technological milestone holds great significance as it dramatically enhances the quality of roaming services through the use of global cloud technology, a key component of the evolution toward 6G core networks. SKT will continue to lead global communication technology by utilizing cloud technology for network research, development, and commercialization,” said Yu Takki, Vice President and Head of Infra Technology Office of SKT.