SKT to launch 500Mbps LTE-A next month

24 May 2016

SK Telecom plans to launch 500Mbps LTE-A services from next month, taking advantage of its newly-acquired LTE spectrum.

The operator will introduce a service it calls LTE-A Pro in June that will support speeds of up to 500Mbps, the Korea Timesreported.

SK Telecom also revealed plans to launch nationwide 1Gbps LTE services by 2019, beginning with a rollout to metropolitan areas in 2018. By the end of 2019 the company aims to expand coverage to 90% of the nation.

With the deployment the operator plans to become Korea's first operator to adopt LTE-A five-carrier aggregation.

In order to reach its spectrum speed goals SK Telecom plans to adopt technologies including 256 QAM and 4x4 MIMO.

SK Telecom recently acquired 60 MHz of 2.6-GHz spectrum during an auction, and aims to put these airwaves to good use.

Rival KT last year launched its GIGA LTE service, which combines LTE-A and Wi-Fi technologies to deliver gigabit download speeds.

South Korean operators are also expected to be among the first to adopt 5G once the technology becomes commercially available in 2020, and are at the forefront of efforts to develop the upcoming standard.

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