KT to launch LTE in November

Dylan Bushell-Embling
29 Jun 2011

KT has unveiled plans to launch LTE in November, but will bank on the so-called 3Ws to counter the head-start its rivals will get when they go live next month.

The company will debut LTE in Seoul in November, the Korea Heraldreports. Both SK Telecom and LG U+ plan to commence services in the capital city in July.

But KT's mobile chief has told local media the operator wants to wait until it is able to provide full LTE services, instead of the data-only services its competitors will initially offer at launch.

In the meantime, the operator will aim to address demand for data with what it calls its 3W network, consisting of WiBro, Wi-Fi and W-CDMA.

The operator is aiming for nationwide LTE coverage by 2013, by which time the majority of operators expect adequate LTE handset supplies to be available.

As of April, KT had 438,000 subscribers using the homegrown WiBro wireless broadband standard, and it recently expanded its WiBro network to provide coast-to-coast coverage.

The operator plans to bid for 800-MHz or 1,800-MHz spectrum in the upcoming August auction, to cope with the anticipated traffic growth across its 3W networks.

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