Back To Top

SK, LG eye 4 times faster LTE service

South Korea’s mobile carriers SK Telecom Co. and LG Uplus Corp. said Monday they plan to deploy a network service this year that is four times faster than the current Long Term Evolution service.

SK Telecom, South Korea’s No. 1 player, said it has successfully developed the upgraded service, dubbed the 3band LTE-Advanced service, by combining a 20MHz bandwidth and two 10MHz bandwidths.

LG Uplus Corp. also announced Monday it plans to roll out the 3band LTE-A service in 2014 of the same speed, reflecting the heightening technology battle among industry players.

South Korea’s No. 3 mobile carrier created the service by combining a 40MHz bandwidth in 2.6GHz band, 20MHz bandwidth in 800MHz and a 20MHz bandwidth in 2.1GHz band.

Both companies claimed their 3band LTE-A service to be the world’s first.

The new services are based on carrier aggregation technology, which bundles more than two frequency bands to increase bandwidth and offers a download speed of up to 300 megabits per second (Mbps), roughly four times faster than 75 Mbps on the existing LTE network, the companies said.

It is also faster than 150 Mbps and 225 Mbps for the LTE-A service and the wider-bandwidth LTE-A, respectively.

The 3band LTE-A service will enable mobile devices to download a 800-megabyte movie in 22 seconds, faster than the 1 minute and 25 seconds using the existing LTE services, and 43 seconds with the LTE-A services.

SK Telecom added it will showcase a 3band LTE-A service combining three 20MHz bandwidths that has a download speed of 450 Mbps at the annual Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Spain, next month.

The company said it also plans to continue researching 4-band or 5-band LTE-A services for even faster speeds.

“The 3band-CA technology marks another progress from wider-bandwidth LTE-A service, and our demonstration proves our technology competitiveness,” LG Uplus said in its release. “The service will be available by the end of this year, with facilities and devices supporting the network under development.”

SK Telecom also said the service is expected to be available to local users in late 2014 as soon as mobile devices supporting the network are launched by smartphone makers.

Currently, market leader SK Telecom controls roughly half of the market, followed by No. 2 player KT Corp. and LG Uplus, with all three vying neck-and-neck to take the lead in the LTE technology. (Yonhap News)