The companies will start offering an LTE auto-roaming capability from April 1, following SKT's previous such deals in Hong Kong and Singapore (with Telstra unit CSL and SingTel, respectively).
SKT said: “The commercialization of LTE auto-roaming services with Globe and SingTel follows a consensus among members of the Bridge Alliance (BA) that LTE data roaming takes an important role in the future direction of next generation services, thus calling for strategic partnerships between carriers around the world.”
The carrier is always keen to extend its influence beyond its advanced but small home market, and is seeking to be something of a hub for regional roaming. It said: “SK Telecom is strongly positioning itself as the center of cooperation in the Asia-Pacific region.”
The operator has been implementing some features of LTE-Advanced in its network, including carrier aggregation, and in the second quarter it plans to launch LTE devices that can work in four frequency bands – 850-MHz, 1.8-GHz, 2.1-GHz and 2.6-GHz. That will mark the first support for LTE in 2.6-GHz, likely to be one of the key global bands, by a Korean cellco. The main inter-national bands over time are likely to be 1.8-GHz, 700-MHz (the Asia-Pacific plan rather than the US one), and 2.5/2.6-GHz.
Kim Young-Sup, head of collaboration marketing at SKT, said in a statement: “Going forward, SK Telecom will expand its strategic partnerships with mobile carriers across the globe, while also focusing on enriching the line-up of devices that function in multiple frequency bands.”