4G mobile phones to be released as early as Sept.
The fourth generation telecommunications technology Long Term Evolution is expected to debut next month as two of the country’s mobile carriers are getting ready to launch the service in many cities across the nation.
SK Telecom, the country’s top mobile carrier, has announced it will commercialize the technology in Seoul next month by establishing 600 base stations, which will upgrade the speed and picture quality of its communications services.
Rival mobile carrier LG Uplus is preparing to offer LTE services in Seoul and surrounding metropolitan regions, as well as Gwangju and Busan by July, said its officials.
Mobile phones operating on the 4G network, however, will not be released until September.
According to industry sources, 4G routers and modems are expected to be available in July.
A wireless router that changes 4G signals to Wi-Fi signals and a device that can be connected to the 4G network through a USB flash drive will be introduced to the market.
“This means that people will be able to access the Internet on wireless gadgets, enjoying the same speed as they do using the fixed-line services,” said an LG Uplus official.
The LTE technology is reported to have three times more capacity and to be up to seven times faster compared to the current third generation communications technology.
It will take only 85 seconds to download a 800-megabyte movie and numerous people will be able to simultaneously access the same online game even on a mobile phone, an SKT official said at a previous press event organized to feature its LTE technology.
In a related event, SKT publicized its LTE service logo, which read “4G LTE,” and its 4G service-related advertisement for the first time on Sunday.
“It’s an indication that SKT, which has maintained its leadership throughout the 1G to 3G networks, will provide differentiated services than other mobile carriers,” said an SKT official.
LG Uplus, on the other hand, said Sunday that it is training its employees across the nation in the company’s LTE services.
Consultants and the marketing workforce at customer service centers and sales stations are being educated on the merits of LG Uplus’ LTE technology, such as the faster speed, and information on how to use the universal subscriber identity module card for the service.
In the meantime, KT Corp., the country’s largest fixed-line service provider, is making moves to introduce a nationwide LTE network by November and construct a nationwide LTE network by 2013.
The company has put its current focus on establishing a 4G wireless broadband network across the country, setting up high speed networks in 82 cities and on seven highways.
According to KT, the 4G WiBro network is projected to offer seamless Internet access to 85 percent of the population at fixed spots and even when people are on-the-go.
The move follows its belief that the 3W network ― WiBro, Wi-Fi and Wideband Code Division Multiple Access technologies ― along with LTE is the answer for what it calls a “mobile wonderland.”
By Cho Ji-hyun (email@example.com