The world is on the way to gigabit LTE. Using 40 MHz, Korea's largest mobile company is upgrading 26,000 cell sites over the next few months. The maximum speed is 300 megabits, shared; if the cell site is crowded or you're far from the tower, the speed is lower. 95+% of the time if you are well connected to the cell site, you can expect 50-100 megabits. SK is using 20 MHz in the 1.8GHz band, 10 MHz in the 800MHz band, and 10MHz in 2.1 GHz band.
SK claims this is the first commercial 3 band deployment, but there are dozens to come. Update 2/20 There are so few triband phones available some think the announcement is premature. But they are coming
LG, Korea's #3, intends to deploy next month and KT is in trials. http://bit.ly/1BoDP7N. SK's 26K cellsites for 51 million people is about three times the density of AT&T or Verizon's network. The American giants have < 50,000 cellsites for 315 million people.
Verizon was first, after Scandinavia, to LTE but now has a distinctly inferior network. While Germany has peak speeds often at 100 megabits, Verizon is still advertising 5-12 megabits. England, France, Finland and many others soon roll out common speeds of > 100 megabits.
The Samsung Note 4 is currently the only available tri-band phone. SK will only sell the phone to "customers who wish to use the service ahead of others and provide feedback." That will change very rapidly. LG in a few days should announce another tri-band phone. http://bit.ly/1tyo5dW SK is ahead of KT in deploying tri-band and will very rapidly push for wider sales.
No one except the engineers believe that gigabit wireless speeds are on the way, but gigabit commercial service is likely in 12-36 months. SK equipment can easily be extended to 5 bands and 500-700 megabit speed. Add MIMO antennas and a gig (shared) is practical. Ericsson has worked with SK and is demo'ing speeds well into the gigabits.
Speeds much over a gigabit will probably not be deployed until 2018-2020.
Here's the pr
SK Telecom (NYSE:SKM) today announced that it launched commercial tri-band LTE-Advanced (LTE-A) service for the first time in the world.
Tri-band LTE-A service offers data speeds of up to 300Mbps by aggregating three component carriers in three different frequency bands: 20MHz bandwidth in 1.8GHz band, 10MHz bandwidth in 800MHz band, and 10MHz bandwidth in 2.1GHz band.
The service is four times faster than LTE and 21 times faster than 3G service. For instance, at its peak speed, Tri-band LTE-A service allows users to download a 1GB movie in only 28 seconds.
Prior to today’s commercialization of tri-band LTE-A Carrier Aggregation (CA), SK Telecom has been offering LTE-A service by aggregating two carriers: It launched 150Mbps LTE-A service by aggregating 10MHz bandwidth in 1.8GHz band and 10MHz bandwidth in 800MHz band in June 2013, and began 225Mbps Wideband LTE-A service by aggregating 20MHz bandwidth in 1.8GHz band and 10MHz bandwidth in 800MHz band in June 2014, both for the first time in the world. The company has developed the world’s first tri-band LTE-A CA technology in January 2014 and successfully demonstrated the 450Mbps tri-band LTE-A by binding three 20MHz bands at the Mobile World Congress 2014, held in Barcelona, Spain in February 2014.
Moreover, with the successful commercialization of tri-band LTE-A CA, SK Telecom not only secures an important edge in LTE-A 4-band CA and 5-band CA, but also moves a step closer to realizing 5G service. The company, under its technology roadmap on 5G, is making aggressive efforts to develop the world’s fastest telecommunication technology.
SK Telecom plans to offer an unmatched tri-band LTE-A service coverage in Korea. In order to provide tri-band LTE-A service, base stations that support three different frequency bands are required. Tri-band LTE-A is offered in areas where coverage of all three component carriers intersect./Tri-band LTE-A is offered in areas where signals from all three frequency bands – i.e. 800MHz, 1.8GHz, 2.1GHz – overlap
Since the company has already secured Wideband LTE-A coverage in main areas of all 84 cities nationwide - meaning that it already has in place 800MHz and 1.8GHz base stations - it can offer tri-band LTE-A service by simply adding 2.1GHz base stations. The company plans to build more than 26,000 2.1GHz base stations within the first quarter of 2015 to provide its customers with the fastest mobile telecommunications service in Seoul/ Seoul Metropolitan Area, central areas of all cities nationwide as well as all subway lines in Korea.
Galaxy Note 4 S-LTE, the first tri-band LTE-A capable device, will first be sold limitedly to a group of consumers who wish to use the service ahead of others and provide feedback on issues including its performance (e.g. speed, transmission stability, etc.) and convenience features. Through this process, SK Telecom aims to further improve its tri-band LTE-A service to better meet its customers’ needs and provide them with greater value through new mobile value-added services optimized for the ultra-fast tri-band LTE-A. SK Telecom subscribers, including this group of early users, will be able to enjoy the new service at the same price as LTE.
Lee Jong-bong, Executive Vice President and Head of Network Division said, “With the launch of the world’s first tri-band LTE-A service, we will not only provide our customers with unprecedented network speeds, but also offer differentiated and diverse mobile value-added services that meet customers’ needs and interests.”
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