SK Telecom launches faster LTE

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SK Telecom launches faster LTE

SK Telecom has joined KT in providing a wide bandwidth LTE service amid increasing competition among three local mobile operators to attract subscribers with faster connectivity.

SK Telecom said yesterday it will launch the wider frequency band service today after securing a crucial bandwidth in the 1.8 GHz range in a state-led broadband frequency auction last month. Its competitor, KT, launched the service Sept. 15.

SK Telecom will start its new, faster LTE service in Mapo District, northwestern Seoul, and expand throughout Seoul by the end of October, surrounding areas by the end of November, to six metropolitan cities by March and throughout the country by July.

About 70 percent of the LTE subscribers of SK Telecom will enjoy faster download speeds on their existing smart devices.

Through the company’s LTE bandwidth, users of LTE-Advanced (A) on devices like the Galaxy Note 3 will have connectivity of 150 megabits per second.

The users of 20 smartphones released with multicarriers such as Vega Racer 2; iPhone 5S and 5C; and Galaxy Note 2 will get data transmission that is 100 megabits per second faster.

Furthermore, users of LTE smartphones using the existing 850 megahertz (MHz) band - Galaxy Note 1, Optimus View and Vega S5, among others - will also have faster connectivity.

“As multicarrier and LTE-A devices normally use the 1.8 gigahertz (GHz) band due to the increased capacity of broadband, only the users of entry-level LTE devices use the 850 megahertz band,” said a spokesman for SK Telecom. “As we have a spare frequency, the actual speed of LTE services will become faster.”

SK Telecom also said that expanding the service throughout Seoul in just one month was possible as its base stations for 1.8 gigahertz are already established.

“Through the software upgrade of the existing base station, we plan to provide the faster LTE bandwidth service,” said a SK Telecom spokesman.

SK Telecom’s use of LTE wide bandwidth follows KT, which launched the world’s first broadband LTE-A commercial service by combining its existing with the newly secured bandwidth in the 1.8 gigahertz range.

LG U+, the No. 3 telecom operator, plans to start providing LTE broadband service in Seoul as well as capital areas by the end of this year through its newly secured 2.6 gigahertz frequency band.

BY KIM JUNG-YOON [kjy@joongang.co.kr]

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