SK Telecom chooses LTE partners

Dylan Bushell-Embling
27 Jan 2011
Daily News

Korea's SK Telecom has revealed its LTE roadmap, announcing Samsung, LG-Ericsson and NSN as its vendor partners.

The company said it plans to use base station equipment from all three companies, and switches from both Samsung and LG-Ericsson, in order to be able to tailor the deployment to different coverage requirements.

Pending approval from the Korean Communications Commission, the network will use the 800MHz band. Its capacity will be augmented by the deployment of 62,000 Wi-Fi zones and over 10,000 femotcells this year.

Following an earlier announcement that it plans to launch LTE in July, SK Telecom indicated it would offer LTE modems at launch, and expects to launch the first smartphones – with voice services initially utilizing the operator's 3G network - this year.

SK Telecom PR manager Lauren Kim told TelecomAsia the company intends to use a method of its own design, based on cloud principles, to optimize the network.

“[Data usage] generally appears in bursts with sudden surges that overload the network,” she said. “SK Telecom plans to manage data capacity of the LTE network by grouping the capacity of adjacent base stations like a ‘cloud network’.”

Using this design, which the company has dubbed Smart Cloud Access Network, the company hopes to allow base stations to share the load, allowing for more efficient data management.

Kim declined to disclose the value of the contracts, but said the spending forms part of the operator's 2 trillion won ($1.79 billion) capex commitment for 2011.

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