SK Telecom, South Korea’s largest mobile carrier, has raised its capital expenditure for 2011 by 15% to cater to data demand caused by smartphone and tablet PC users.
The comany's capex budget for the year is now 2.3 trillion won ($2.16 billion), the largest since the company's inception.
The carrier said in a statement that the additional investment of 300 billion won will go toward upgrading capacity on its 3G and LTE networks.
Smartphone subscriber numbers had jumped 36% from end 2010 to 5.35 million end March, while data traffic had jumped 57%.
The carrier said handsets like the Samsung Galaxy S series and the Apple iPhone are expected to boost demand for data.
SK Telecom started retailing Apple’s iPhone 2 in March and also started offering Apple’s iPad 2 end last week, ending rival KT’s exclusive distribution for Apple devices. Pre-orders for the Samsung Galaxy S2 started end April and the device has attracted more than 250,000 subscribers to date.