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SK Telecom Claims 225Mbit/s 4G LTE

Ray Le Maistre

If you're looking for hot 4G LTE action, look no further than the South Korean peninsula.

SK Telecom (Nasdaq: SKM), which already boasts more than 12 million LTE users and a small but growing base of LTE-Advanced subscribers, has been utilizing carrier aggregation techniques to push the maximum downlink speed of its LTE-Advanced service to 225 Mbit/s, a 50% gain on the maximum speed of regular LTE. (See SK Telecom Demos 225Mbit/s LTE-Advanced and SKT's LTE-Advanced Subs Growing Fast.)

The operator says it aggregated 20MHz of capacity in the 1.8GHz band and 10MHz of capacity in the 800MHz band for a demonstration in the South Korean capital of Seoul. A commercial service offering is expected in the second half of 2014, as the smartphone chipsets required to support such a high-speed service are still being developed.

According to SK Telecom, an 800MB video file could be downloaded in just 28 seconds if a connection of 225 Mbit/s was achieved: The same download, over maximum speeds, would take 7 minutes and 24 seconds over 3G, 1 minute and 25 seconds over regular LTE, and 43 seconds across a current LTE-Advanced connection.

And that's not the end of the journey. Not content with aggregating two carriers, SK Telecom is now working towards aggregating three chunks of capacity in different bands to achieve maximum downlink speeds of 300 Mbit/s over a mobile broadband connection.

For more on SK Telecom and LTE-Advanced developments:

— Ray Le Maistre, Editor-in-Chief, Light Reading

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11/30/2013 | 9:35:31 PM
Re: Enterprise relevance
Although stay tuned, I just realized reading through mu notes that I may have a story on this soon.
11/29/2013 | 3:13:56 PM
Re: Enterprise relevance
Still pretty hard to discover and strand apps coming over the air as it happens (in real time is the key bit) and offer some kind of SLAs. Raw speed for all is still easier on mobile than focused speed and reliability for some as far as I can tell.
11/29/2013 | 3:11:00 PM
Re: Sprint will follow in these footprints
Yeah, Verizon is definitely ahead of the pack in the US. Sprint can learn from SK aggregation though, their frequencies are nearly exactly the same.
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11/29/2013 | 9:44:16 AM
Enterprise relevance
I'm surprised that, as we get to talk of faster and faster 4G speeds, that the topic of enterprise services doesn't crop up more often -- while the actual average speeds of LTE-A with carrier aggreation willl be much slower than 225 Mbit/s they wil still be asfast as many fixed line broadband connections are today - doesn't that play more and more to the business services market (coupled with data and device security and cloud servies)?
11/29/2013 | 2:17:43 AM
Re: Sprint will follow in these footprints
this is interesting. Good to see that thare are some live demonstrations possible at an Operator site which gives more credebility. 

Would not help Telcos who would deploy say 700 MHz in urban areas for indoor penetration and 2300 MHz in rural for Nomadic DSL alternative.

However with lot of Telcos having multiple frequency band in same geography - good for them. A step towards cognitive radio ?

Is this part of Sprint Network vision ?
11/28/2013 | 6:18:47 PM
Re: Sprint will follow in these footprints
I actually think that Verizon Wireless is in a more similar position rather than Sprint. Verizon is looking to aggregate 10Mhz FDD in B13 with 20Mhz FDD in B4 in many markets for 225Mbps.

Sprint will most likely continue deploying 5Mhz FDD in B25 and B26, and really aggregate mutiple TDD component carriers in B41 for capacity along with higher order MIMO once/if UE OEMs figure out how to succesfully design 4 interference free Rx paths, and satisfactory battery life.
11/28/2013 | 5:41:55 PM
Sprint will follow in these footprints
Take note

Sprint is planning on exactly this kind of aggregation on 1.9GHz and 800MHz too.
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