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Korea develops most advanced wireless tech

Korean researchers Tuesday unveiled the most advanced wireless network technology, boosting potential for the country to lead the future telecommunications market.

The state-run Electronics and Telecommunications Research Institute in Daejeon demonstrated the Long Term Evolution-Advanced technology which is 40 times faster than the current third-generation wireless network.

“It is meaningful that we demonstrate this high-capacity, super-speed telecom service ― which enables users to watch 3-D, high-definition videos in a driving car ― for the first time in the world,” ministry officials said.

LTE-Advanced is a more enhanced version of the LTE technology, which has evolved from the current third-generation wireless network system. It complies 95 percent with 4G requirements, according to the Ministry of Knowledge Economy. 
Researchers of the Electronics and Telecommunications Research Institute demonstrate mobile broadcasting using the Long Term Evolution-Advanced technology in Daejeon on Tuesday. (Yonhap News)
Researchers of the Electronics and Telecommunications Research Institute demonstrate mobile broadcasting using the Long Term Evolution-Advanced technology in Daejeon on Tuesday. (Yonhap News)

LTE-Advanced boasts a speed of up to 600 megabytes of data per second. It enables a user to download 700 megabyte-video in just 9.3 seconds, 40 times faster than the current third-generation wireless network, according to ETRI.

The research took over five years and cost the institute over 64 billion won ($53 million) to complete, it said.

The government said the country has been making aggressive moves to expedite the development of the 4G system as the global telecommunications market is expected to be highly prospective. Local firms had been relatively slow in adopting the 3G system, officials said.

The ministry projected that the global telecom market size will grow from the current $1.1 trillion to $1.3 trillion over the next six years, which will mostly be led by mobile handsets and software like mobile applications.

The need for the country to meet surging demand for wireless data in the country, resulting from the soaring number of smartphones, was another reason behind the initiative, it said.

As the 3G system will soon be unable to cope with the amount of wireless data should it increases at this rate, Korea, like other countries, was forced to accelerate such a network push, officials said. Other major players in the rivalry include the U.S., Finland and Sweden.

Alongside government-led projects, local mobile carriers SK, KT and LG Uplus are planning to first launch the LTE system by July.

ETRI expected that the technology will become available in the country by 2014 as it is now conveyed to a mid-sized firm for commercialization.

The ministry and ETRI speculated that the market share of local firms in the global telecom industry will jump to around 40 percent by 2021 for mobile devices such as smartphones and tablet computers, which will lead to sales of 346 trillion won.

That for base stations and network equipments will increase to 15 percent with sales of 16.7 trillion won, they said.

Meanwhile, with the successful development of the 4G telecom system, the government Wednesday will announce a set of plans for the country and its firms to expand their size of the pie in the global market.

The plan will include early commercialization of the 4G networks within the country and reinforcing local software and parts industry, which have so far been weak.

By Koh Young-aah (youngaah@heraldcorp.com)
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