South Korea operator SK Telecom (SKT) was awarded a contract to deploy LTE-Railway (LTE-R), the next-generation railway network standard, across three lines of the Busan Metro as well as fixed-line infrastructure for two of the lines.

Busan Transportation Corp selected the operator to build out an LTE-R network on lines 2 to 4 using the 700MHz band, enabling interconnection with the National Disaster and Safety Telecommunication Network (PS-LTE). The operator also is building a wired backbone network for lines 3 and 4, noting line 2 already has a wired network.

The work is scheduled to be completed in October 2026.

SKT rolled out an LTE-R network on Busan Metro’s 41km line 1 in 2017.

In a statement, the operator explained the existing wireless communication system on lines 2 to 4 allows only voice calls and simple text. The LTE-R network enables control rooms, train drivers, station staff and rescue personnel to simultaneously exchange information, such as real-time video transmissions and group calls and text messages.

Kim Gyeong-deok, head of SKT Enterprise, stated with the deployment of LTE-R it aims to improve the efficiency of the metro’s operations as well as safety.

SKT is the largest mobile operator in South Korea with 26.8 million subscribers at end-September, data from GSMA Intelligence showed.