KT prepares to roll out LTE-A in provincial cities

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KT prepares to roll out LTE-A in provincial cities

In the race to establish a nationwide broadband LTE-Advanced network, No. 2 mobile operator KT plans to begin commercial service in provincial metropolitan areas starting next month.

KT said its LTE users in cities will be able to enjoy an LTE-A speed of up to 150 megabytes per second.

Broadband LTE-A is capable of 225 megabytes per second, but no LTE-A device will be available until the second half of this year.

In addition, along with the frequencies assigned by the Ministry of Science, ICT and Future Planning, KT plans to provide broadband LTE-A service nationwide starting from July.

Meanwhile, the nation’s No. 1 mobile carrier SK Telecom said it is expanding its 1.8GHz broadband network coverage from the existing 85 cities to boroughs and towns nationwide.

“When the 1.8GHz broadband network coverage is expanded nationwide, the LTE-A network at 225 megabytes per second will be established across the country,” said a spokesman for SK Telecom.

When the LTE-A device is launched, LTE-A broadband service will be available in areas of LTE network services.

Users of the existing devices will be able to get LTE service that is two times faster through the LTE broadband or the LTE-A broadband network, thanks to the 1.8GHz band network expansion.

SK Telecom provides an LTE broadband network in Seoul and capital areas and is set to expand the service to provincial cities in March and nationwide in July.

It also is utilizing 10MHz in the 2.1GHz bandwidth currently used as 3G and will start building a base station for it. Thus, SK Telecom will have three frequency bands for LTE services: 800MHz in the 10MHz bandwidth, 1.8GHz in the 20MHz bandwidth and 2.1GHz in the 10MHz bandwidth.

The 3band LTE-A, which utilizes a total of 40MHz bandwidth, is four times faster than current LTE at 300Mbps.

“In order to offer commercial service of 3band LTE-A as soon as the LTE-A devices are launched, we plan to establish 2.1GHz frequency band LTE network in major areas of Seoul,” said a spokesman for SK Telecom.

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

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