SK Telecom ups 2011 capex to $2.1b

Melissa Chua
03 May 2011
00:00
News
Daily News

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.

SK Telecom conducted an LTE demo last month and is due to launch commercial LTE services in July.

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.

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