South Korea’s leading mobile carrier, SK Telecom, has launched the world’s first LTE Advanced network on Wednesday, and the carrier claims that it is at least twice as fast as current LTE networks.
This week also saw the debut of Samsung’s LTE-A variant of the Galaxy S4 that makes use of the faster bandwidth. In a test conducted on the LTE-A S4 in Southern Seoul, users were getting a download speed of 34.9 megabits per second and an upload speed of 10.1 Mbps.
“By supporting twice faster speeds than LTE, LTE-A will not only enhance customers’ satisfaction in network quality, but also give birth to new mobile value added services that can bring innovative changes to our customers’ lives,” Park In-sik, SK Telecom’s president of network business operations, said in a statement.
Another test revealed a download speed of 83.3 Mbps, and currently the biggest concern for LTE-A users is finding good network coverage. SK Telecom has announced that its LTE-A service is currently live in a total of 44 cities including Seoul, with a further rollout in the coming months that will see a total of 84 cities getting LTE-A.
Increased bandwidth of the LTE-A network is due to a technique called carrier aggregation, in which the carrier manages to merge two frequency bands. SK Telecom has mentioned that carrier aggregation can be used more effectively in future networks, and sees bandwidth reaching speeds of up to 500Mbps by 2015.