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SK Telecom to offer 7 phones for 4G service

SK Telecom Co., South Korea’s largest mobile operator, said Wednesday that it will offer seven smartphones and one tablet PC that use its fourth-generation network this year, to meet surging demand for video and other data-guzzling services.

By December, SK Telecom aims to lure 500,000 subscribers for its new 4G service based on the long-term evolution technology, it said in a statement.

The company expects that the number of LTE service subscribers will increase 10-fold to 5 million by next year and 15 million by 2014, it added, as demand for the faster mobile Internet will go up.

Starting in July, SK Telecom started the LTE service in Seoul to handle heavy wireless data traffic for smartphones and tablet PCs. It plans to complete nationwide LTE coverage by 2013.

SK Telecom controls about half of the country’s wireless market with 26 million users of its third-generation and second-generation (2G) wireless services, according to the latest government data.

Two LTE handsets from Samsung Electronics Co. and HTC Corp. will be launched this month from the largest mobile carrier.

Samsung will offer two additional LTE smartphones through SK Telecom in October and November. The company’s tablet PC, the Galaxy Tab 8.9, which supports the LTE technology, will also hit the local market before December.

LG Electronics Inc., the world’s third-largest mobile-phone maker, will release its first LTE smartphone next month through SK Telecom.

Pantech Co., South Korea’s No. 3 phone maker, will provide two LTE smartphones in October and December, according to the mobile carrier. 

(Yonhap News)
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