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4G/3G/WiFi

SK Telecom Adds 300K LTE-Advanced Subs

Just over a month after flipping the switch on its LTE-Advanced network, SK Telecom has already signed up 300,000 customers for the service and made plans to deploy 32,000 additional base stations to expand its footprint.

The Korean operator went live with LTE-Advanced, boasting the world's first network to support the latest 4G release with carrier aggregation, at the end of June. The network now covers the entire Seoul area and the central areas of 84 cities in the region, up from an initial 42 cities, with dwnlink peak speeds of 150 Mbit/s. The additional base stations will help SK Telecom reach 300 universities, up from 103 at launch. (See SK Telecom Debuts LTE-Advanced.)

It launched LTE-Advanced with one compatible smartphone, the Samsung Corp. Galaxy S4 LTE-A, and its traditional 4G pricing plans but is now prepping new pricing plans and services to run on the zippier network. Some of the services will include a push into new enterprise verticals such as healthcare and media. The carrier has also promised seven total LTE-A smartphones before the end of the year.

SK Telecom provided updated details on its LTE-A services as part of its second quarter earnings in which its LTE leadership paid off. The Korean operator reported a second-quarter profit of 468 billion won (US$420 million), nearly quadruple the 121 billion won it reported last year. It ended the quarter with 11 million LTE subscribers, making up more than 40 percent of its total mobile customer base.

— Sarah Reedy, Senior Editor, Light Reading

milan03 7/30/2013 | 5:16:00 PM
re: SK Telecom Adds 300K LTE-Advanced Subs Telia Sonera in Sweden has had 2x20Mhz on Band 7 since 2011.
Sarah Thomas 7/30/2013 | 3:36:13 PM
re: SK Telecom Adds 300K LTE-Advanced Subs It didn't elaborate on the base stations, at least not in the release. Only noted that they'd be used to cover 300 universities.
bogdanovici 7/30/2013 | 3:21:29 PM
re: SK Telecom Adds 300K LTE-Advanced Subs Several operators that own 20MHz of contiguous spectrum can (theoretically) achieve similar speeds. I believe Telstra and few Canadian operators own 20MHz of contiguous spectrum used for LTE so w/ Category 4 device (mostly USB dongles and tablets) one can measure well above 100Mbps.

How many of the 32,000 base stations mentioned in the article are indoor? Also, how many of them are remote radio heads connected to a common basedband location?
Sarah Thomas 7/30/2013 | 2:56:02 PM
re: SK Telecom Adds 300K LTE-Advanced Subs SK Telecom's network isn't totally LTE-Advanced. It mainly uses carrier aggregation and a few other features. But, that's the benefit of LTE-A; it's a menu of features operators can choose from based on their needs. And, I'd say SK's speeds are impressive. Only EE and Docomo can match them so far.
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