SK Telecom launches LTE-A Pro service in 53 cities - Mobile World Live

SK Telecom launches LTE-A Pro service in 53 cities

05 JUN 2017

SK Telecom (SKT), the largest mobile operator in South Korea, launched an LTE-Advanced Pro (LTE-A Pro) service using five-band carrier aggregation (CA) to deliver peak download speeds of 700Mb/s in 53 cities across the country.

Its LTE-A Pro network, which also uses 4×4 multiple-input multiple-output (MIMO) technology, enables users to download an HD movie (2GB) within 23 seconds, it said in a statement.

The operator also said it rolled out an LTE-A Pro network combining three-band and four-band CA to achieve peak downlink rates of 900Mb/s in parts of six cities.

It expects to combine the five-band CA service and the 900Mb/s LTE-A Pro service to reach 50 per cent of the Korean population by end-2017.

Only the Samsung Galaxy S8 is compatible with SKT’s LTE-A Pro service, and even then requires an over-the-air firmware upgrade. However, the operator said it expects new premium smartphones to be compatible with the technology.

Choi Seung-won, SVP and head of infrastructure strategy at SKT, said it plans to launch 1Gb/s LTE-A Pro service in the first half of 2018: “The LTE-A Pro services represent an early application of 5G technologies that support Gb/s-level data speeds and massive network capacity,” he said.

SKT’s bandwidth resources comprise 10MHz in the 800MHz band, 20MHz in the 1.8GHz band, 10MHz in the 2.1GHz band, and 10MHz + 20MHz in the 2.6GHz band.

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Joseph Waring

Joseph Waring joins Mobile World Live as the Asia editor for its new Asia channel. Before joining the GSMA, Joseph was group editor for Telecom Asia for more than ten years. In addition to writing features, news and blogs, he...

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