South Korea’s SK Telecom has launched LTE smartphones and associated price plans in a bid to gain first mover advantage in the market.
The LTE price plans from the country’s largest wireless mobile carrier are notable for a distinct lack of unlimited data, currently considered the norm in the market. Prices for voice and LTE-data packages range from 34,000 won ($29) for 120 minutes of talk time and 350MB of data to 100,000 won for 1,050 minutes of talk time and 10GB of data.
SK Telecom is set to launch eight LTE-ready devices in the coming months – 7 smartphone models and 1 tablet, from manufacturers LG Electronics, HTC and Samsung. The company is aiming to secure 500,000 subscribers by year-end and 5 million by end-2012.
SK Telecom may also consider dumping its unlimited data price plans for 3G packages to better cope with burgeoning data traffic.
SK Telecom had been offering unlimited data plans for packages priced 55,000 won ($47) and above, but chief of the firm’s marketing division told the Korea Times unlimited data plans might be scrapped if strain on the company’s networks continued despite investments in infrastructure.
According to the Korea Times, the country’s largest mobile carrier had previously been reluctant to scrap the scheme despite requests from rivals KT and LG UPlus. SK Telecom CEO Ha Sung-Min had as recently as July said the firm would continue offering unlimited data plans.