KT launches gigabit LTE service

17 Jun 2015

KT has launched the world's fastest LTE network, ushering in what the operator is calling the “Gigatopia” era.

The company's GiGa LTE service offers a maximum download speed of a blazing fast 1.17 Gbps, the Korea Herald reported.

This is 15 times faster than conventional LTE networks and four times faster than tri-band LTE-Advanced, the fastest wireless networks available in South Korea. Uplink speeds are meanwhile 10 times faster than available with tri-band LTE-A technology.

KT has been developing the GiGA LTE technology in collaboration with Samsung under a partnership entered into last year.

The network initially supports Samsung's Galaxy S6 and S6 Edge smartphones that have been upgraded via a firmware update. Five or six more high-end and mid-range Samsung smartphones that support the network will be rolled out in the second half of the year.

With the announcement, KT has upped the ante in what is already a highly competitive LTE market. Both SK Telecom and LG U+ are planning LTE speed upgrades of their own.

South Korea is also expected to become one of the first markets to commercialize networks based on the 5G standard once the technology becomes widely available by around 2020.

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