Korean operator SK Telecom took the wraps off the world’s first LTE-Advanced network late last month, and now the Asian nation’s smallest mobile carrier LG Uplus has introduced a rival service, boasting speeds twice as fast as the existing LTE network.
According to Yonhap News, LG Uplus’ LTE-A service is currently available in Seoul and a few other major cities, but will be made available across South Korea during the third quarter of this year.
LG Uplus claims that with its LTE-A network, an 800 MB file takes some 40 seconds to download compared to 80 seconds under the existing LTE service — but this is of course theoretical and subject to real-world conditions. SK Telecom had said an 800MB movie can be downloaded in 43 seconds under its LTE-A service.
At the same time that SK Telecom launched the LTE-A network, Samsung also announced its new Galaxy S4 LTE-A smartphone, the high-speed version of the flagship smartphone. This has no doubt boosted consumers’ interest in the new super-fast network.
Earlier this month, SK Telecom said that more than 150,000 subscribers signed up for its LTE-Advanced network just 14 days after its launch — making for a take-up rate of more than 10,000 new subscribers a day.
LG Uplus said in the Yonhap report that a flurry of LTE-A-compatible smartphones, tablets and other mobile devices will be rolled out in the near future. LG Electronics and local manufacturer Pantech are reportedly planning to release smartphones running on the LTE-A network soon.
US carriers have also been keen to push ahead with their LTE-A plans, with T-Mobile reportedly saying it will roll out LTE-A features later this year and Verizon talking about next-generation speeds.
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