First Commercially Available LTE-Advance Network Launches In South Korea, Samsung Delivers Galaxy S4 LTE-A

When it comes to wireless Internet, fast enough never truly is. And while it took a good amount of time to graduate from 3G to 4G, the next leap may happen sooner than any of us expected. SK Telecom has this week launched the world's first commercial LTE-Advance network, and Samsung has launched a new Galaxy S4 smartphone to fully take advantage of the speed. Just a couple of years after LTE was launched, LTE-A promises speeds of up to 150 Mbps, which is two times faster than that of LTE, and 10 times faster than 3G network. For instance, LTE-A users can download an 800MB movie in just 43 seconds.

With the commercialization of LTE-A, the company expects to further improve customer satisfaction in mobile Internet services, and increase the use of ultra fast video contents and other diverse mobile value added services. To commercialize LTE-A, SK Telecom successfully developed and applied the most-advanced mobile network technologies. The company already applied Carrier Aggregation (CA) and Coordinated Multi Point (CoMP), and plans to apply Enhanced Inter-Cell Interference Coordination (eICIC) in 2014. CA, commercialized for the first time in the world by SK Telecom, supports up to 150Mpbs speed by combining two 10 MHz components carriers to form an effective bandwidth of 20 MHz spectrum bands. n March, SK Telecom has launched aggressive plans to expand the coverage of MC base stations to 200 university areas and central areas of 84 cities nationwide. The company has built a total of 20,000 RU (Radio Units) as of June 2013. With MC in place, the company can easily evolve the network to LTE-A s through simple software upgrades.

SK Telecom's LTE-A, launched today, covers the entire Seoul, central areas of 42 cities in Gyeonggi-do and Chungcheong-do, and 103 university areas. Furthermore, the company will gradually expand its LTE-A coverage to 84 cities across the nation. Hopefully, it'll just be a matter of time before a slew of other operators across the world follow suit.