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LTE networks are getting speedier

Telecoms roll out advances ahead of MWC in Barcelona

Feb 27,2015

The downloading speeds of Korea’s Long Term Evolution (LTE) networks are about to get up to eight times faster.

Korean mobile carriers on Thursday introduced their upgraded LTE technologies, which ramp up the current 300Mbps networks to 600Mbps at the maximum ahead of the Mobile World Congress (MWC) that kicks off in Barcelona, Spain in March.

SK Telecom, the leading mobile carrier, said it succeeded in increasing the speed to 600Mbps by adding four more antennas to its current LTE network.

At that speed, a 1-gigabit movie can be downloaded in 14 seconds.

It is eight times faster than normal LTE and twice as fast as LTE-Advanced. The company partnered with Nokia to demonstrate the speedier network.

By installing more antennas at base stations and mobile platforms, the downloading speed within the current frequency spectrum will be doubled, SKT said.

But no smartphone is available to take advantage of the new LTE networks yet.

Experts forecast that an increase in the number of antennas on mobile platforms will be the key technology in future development of LTE to facilitate increasing data traffic.

Calling it “4X4 MIMO,” SKT and Nokia will demonstrate the new technology in Barcelona next month.

Second biggest telecom KT announced it has developed the world’s first technology that can serve three different wireless networks at one go.

“Femtocell” is the first triple mode cell technology in the world, the company said.

It can provide wireless networks in areas that couldn’t have them before because of size, location or other construction problems, like a small basement warehouse in a house.

The downloading speed will be raised to 450 megabits per second.

With Femtocell, it is possible to use WiFi or LTE in such areas without installing ancillary equipment.

KT co-developed the technology with U.S.-based Broadcom, a mobile equipment maker.

The LTE pioneer in Korea, LG U+ said it established a base station for the first 5G network in Korea. The base station with a half-sized remote radio head (RRH) and smaller antennas can process 345MHz frequencies, four times broader than the existing frequency spectrum, enabling data transmission at 50 gigabits per second.

Power consumption is also reduced by half.

The base station will provide faster networks in some areas in Seoul as a trial.

In cooperation with the mobile carriers, Samsung Electronics will introduce four new LTE network technologies that speed up data transmission and video streaming, and solutions that help increase the efficiency of network operations at the 2015 MWC.

The world’s top smartphone maker said it will set up a separate network booth at the event to debut its commercialized LTE technologies, such as VoLTE, Carrier Aggregation, C-RAN and eMBMS.

BY SONG SU-HYUN [ssh@joongang.co.kr]



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