SK Telecom to expand LTE-A network with 1.8GHz spectrum

South Korean LTE pioneer SK Telecom has announced plans to extend its LTE and LTE-A networks by building additional base stations using the 1.8GHz band by the end of this year. The operator claims that the network improvement will result in subscribers experiencing mobile broadband speeds of 150Mbps nationwide.

SK Telecom had already rolled out its LTE network nationwide using 10MHz in the 800MHz frequency band in April last year.

The operator has spectrum holdings in the 800MHz and 1800MHz bands and said that it has developed technology that can combine three blocks of spectrum – 20MHz, 10MHz and 10MHz – across these bands to support LTE-Advanced technology offering speeds of up to 300Mbps.

SK Telecom has also gained approval to use 10MHz bandwidth in the 2.1GHz band for LTE after securing 30MHz bandwidth in the 2.1GHz band in South Korea’s spectrum auction in 2010.

“With the newly added 10 MHz LTE bandwidth in the 2.1GHz band, SK Telecom now secures LTE bandwidth in three different frequency bands – i.e. 10MHz in 800MHz band, 20MHz in 1.8GHz band and 10MHz in 2.1GHz band – thus moving one step closer to realising LTE-Advanced tri-band carrier aggregation technology that supports up to 300Mbps,” the operator said in a statement.

SK Telecom plans to begin building base stations for LTE in the 2.1GHz band in the second quarter of this year and will commercially roll out the network when supporting handsets come to the market.

Last month, the operator announced it had seen a modest year on year increase in revenue for FY2013, but recorded a 44.3 per cent increase in consolidated net income.


LTE Asia 2014 takes place on the 23rd to 25th September at the Marina Bay Sands, Singapore.


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