S. Korea firm to launch mega-fast wireless service

June 30, 2011
A South Korea man passes an SK Telecom advertisement in Seoul. South Korea's top mobile carrier has said it would launch its super-fast 4G wireless service Friday to meet growing demand from users of smartphones and tablet computers.

South Korea's top mobile carrier SK Telecom said it would launch its super-fast 4G wireless service Friday to meet growing demand from users of smartphones and tablet computers.

The company said it would begin providing the new service, based on Long-Term Evolution (LTE) technology, in Seoul and would secure national coverage by 2013.

South Korean operators now use WiBro or WiMax , but a fast increase in smartphone and tablet users has pushed them to deploy new networks for higher-speed data services.

SK Telecom said LTE would allow users to download large in minutes with a maximum downlink speed of 75Mbps, 1.9 times faster than WiBro.

It predicts its LTE service will attract around 300,000 users in the second half of 2011 and 10 million users by 2015.

"LTE will rapidly become widespread globally, realised through the rapid pace of LTE smartphone and tablet adoption, LTE equipment upgrades, and provision of diverse LTE-based services," it said in a statement.

The company plans to introduce its first LTE smartphone in September, built with a LCD screen of 4.5-inches or bigger, and nine different LTE devices this year.

LTE will help open "a true ubiquitous era supported by ultra-high definition, high speed and multi-networking services", it said, adding about 65 percent of total would be handled by LTE networks in 2014.

Domestic rival KT Corp plans to launch a 4G service in November. LG Uplus Corp will embark on the advanced network service in Seoul from Friday.

"The introduction of 4G LTE networks will help realise a digital nomad lifestyle where people can use a wide variety of services regardless of place," SK Telecom said.

Official data show gadget-mad had about 51 million at the end of February, more than the population of 48.8 million.

Of the total, more than 10 million were smartphone users. Telecoms authorities say the country will have more than 20 million smartphone users by the end of this year.

The global tablet PC market is expected to expand to 30 million units next year from 13 million this year, according to industry data.

Explore further: Toward 4G Phones: LG Develops World's First LTE Handset Modem Chip

Related Stories

MetroPCS to launch 4G phone before Verizon

March 24, 2010

(AP) -- MetroPCS Communications Inc. plans to be the first wireless carrier to introduce a phone using a new network technology that provides faster data access. It's beating Verizon Wireless, the country's largest carrier.

Verizon says fast 4G wireless coming to 38 cities

October 6, 2010

(AP) -- Verizon Wireless said Wednesday that its new wireless broadband network, which offers higher data speeds initially for laptop users, will be live before the end of the year in the cities on the Boston-to-Washington ...

Recommended for you

Drone market to hit $10 billion by 2024: experts

October 3, 2015

The market for military drones is expected to almost double by 2024 to beyond $10 billion (8.9 billion euros), according to a report published Friday by specialist defence publication IHS Jane's Intelligence Review.

Radio frequency 'harvesting' tech unveiled in UK

September 30, 2015

An energy harvesting technology that its developers say will be able to turn ambient radio frequency waves into usable electricity to charge low power devices was unveiled in London on Wednesday.

Professors say US has fallen behind on offshore wind power

September 29, 2015

University of Delaware faculty from the College of Earth, Ocean, and Environment (CEOE), the College of Engineering and the Alfred Lerner School of Business and Economics say that the U.S. has fallen behind in offshore wind ...


Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.