LG-Ericsson to build LG U+ LTE network

Melissa Chua
13 May 2011

LG-Ericsson has been commissioned to build the LTE network for South Korea’s smallest operator LG U+.

The vendor, a joint venture between Ericsson and LG U+ parent LG, will construct the LTE network in Seoul and its surrounding metropolitan areas that will serve a population of 25 million. The deal will see LG-Ericsson supply EPCs, LTE base stations and optical repeaters.

The deal covers the migration of the operator’s CDMA network over to LTE. LG U+’s LTE network will be deployed on the 1.8Ghz band, the only frequency it holds spectrum rights to.

The project starts this month is scheduled for completion next year, though commercial services are expected to start July. Services will be offered via dongle initially until LTE handsets hit the market.

LG Uplus’ larger rivals SK Telecom and Korea Telecom have selected Samsung, LG-Ericsson and Nokia Siemens Networks as LTE vendors. SK Telecom recently increased its capital expenditure by 15% partially to cope with data demand and LTE migration.

The country’s three operators will also collaborate to build Wi-Fi hotspots in various areas across to country to help with network offload.

SK Telecom holds 50% market share in Korea’s cellular market, followed by Korea Telecom (30%) and LG U+ (20%).

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