SK Telecom hits 5m LTE subscribers

Fiona Chau
telecomasia.net
SK Telecom said Thursday its LTE subscriber number has reached 5 million.
 
This makes it the third 4G operator in the world and the second in Asia to do so, after Verizon Wireless in the USA and Japan’s NTT DoCoMo.
 
The company reached the milestone 46 days after hitting the 4 million mark in July 30 and a year after SK Telecom released its first LTE smartphone last September. SK Telecom said it added around 33,000 new LTE customers each day during August.
 
The total amount of data used by the company’s LTE subscribers stands at 33.5 petabytes (or 1024 terabytes), among which 46% was used for multimedia contents - which is which is 10 percentage points higher than that of 3G customers (36%), SK Telecom said.
 
The company, which launched VoLTE service on August 8, also diversified its LTE customer base by introducing price plans targeting teenagers and customers aged fifty or older, respectively.
 
With the strong subscriber growth, SK Telecom raised its year-end LTE subscriber target in April, from the initial 5 million to 7 million.
 
Jang Dong-hyun, EVP and head of marketing division of SK Telecom, said the company already achieved over 71% of the year-end target by securing 5 million users and is confident that it could reach 7 million 4G subscribers by year-end.
 
“Going forward, SK Telecom will focus on offering unrivalled LTE service and differentiated customer benefits rather than concentrating its efforts in bringing new subscribers,” Jang said in a company statement.
 
SK Telecom will introduce a range of new services that take advantage of the LTE network, including personalized mobile shopping service, real-time sports game broadcast service and disaster alert system. With the addition of these differentiated services, SK Telecom hopes to reach 14 million LTE subscribers by the end of 2013 and 18 million by the end of 2014.
 
NTT DoCoMo earlier announced that it reached 5 million subscribers of its Xi LTE service on August 19, less than one month after the company surpassed the four million mark.

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