|KT president Pyo Hyun-myung announces a plan to launch the telecom provider’s LTE-Advanced service on Monday. (Kim Myung-sub/The Korea Herald)|
Telecom operator KT announced Monday the company plans to provide Long Term Evolution-Advanced services starting this month.
KT said in a news conference that it was now able to offer LTE-A services, as it secured a crucial bandwidth in the 1.8 GHz range through the state-led broadband frequency auction Friday.
The newly secured bandwidth will be aggregated with an adjacent KT-held bandwidth to allow LTE-Advanced services without much additional cost. The company said this was more convenient than LTE-Advanced using carrier aggregation, where LTE phone subscribers would have to buy additional handsets to receive LTE-Advanced services.
KT’s LTE-A services offer speeds of up to 150 Mbps, and the 6.5 million existing LTE users can also use up to 100 Mbps without changing their device.
Subscribers can use their batteries for 27 percent longer than with existing LTE-A services, as the new bandwidth saves energy.
“As (other mobile operators’) carrier aggregation artificially binds two different carriers, it does not secure stable quality. KT’s connected bandwidth is as if a two-lane expressway were expanded into four lanes. Subscribers can use more stable services without additional handsets or firmware upgrades,” said Pyo Hyun-myung, president of KT’s personal customer group during the press event.
KT is to provide broadband LTE-A nationwide with the new bandwidth. The company already has 100,000 base stations, up to six times more than other carriers’ base stations. KT said this will allow more compact broadband LTE-Advanced coverage.
“KT’s relatively weak network branding recognition due to the delay of LTE-A will be recovered by securing the connected bandwidth,” said Won Hyung-woon, a researcher at Seoul-based Dong-Bu Securities. “Its competitive edge in LTE-Advanced services is expected to bring more subscribers.”
The LTE-Advanced services will be initially available in the Seoul area this month and they will be expanded into other five metropolitan cities next March and nationwide next July.
By Shin Ji-hye