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(LEAD) SK Telecom launches world's fastest mobile network service

SEOUL, June 26 (Yonhap) -- SK Telecom Co., the country's leading mobile carrier, introduced the next-generation mobile network on Wednesday, offering speeds twice as fast as the existing long-term evolution (LTE) network.

SK Telecom is the first mobile operator in the world to launch the so-called LTE-Advanced network service, which is 10 times faster than the old 3G network service, it said.

With the use of the LTE-Advanced network, an 800 megabyte file takes some 40 seconds to download, compared with 80 seconds with the existing LTE, it said.

The LTE-Advanced service is currently available in Seoul and 43 other major cities, expanding to 84 cities sometime down the road, it said.

SK Telecom said its LTE-Advanced service is based on carrier aggregation technology, which bundles two frequency bands to increase bandwidth. The network automatically chooses one of several frequency bands available based on data traffic at the user's location.

Carrier aggregation technology, commercialized for the first time in the world by SK Telecom, supports download speeds of up to 150Mpbs by combining two 10 MHz component carriers to form an effective bandwidth of 20 MHz spectrum bands, it said.

The mobile operator also said it successfully developed and applied the most-advanced mobile network technologies, including coordinated multi point (CoMP), and plans to apply enhanced inter-cell interference coordination (eICIC) next year.

SK Telecom expects a flurry of LTE-Advanced-based smartphones, tablets and other mobile devices to emerge down the road.

With the commercialization of the world's first LTE-Advanced network, Samsung Electronics Co., the largest smartphone maker, also released today the Galaxy S4 LTE-A, the world's first phone optimized to work on the country's LTE-A network.

SK Telecom said it will vigorously expand its LTE-Advanced phone lineup by providing a total of seven different LTE-Advanced compatible smarphones in the second half of 2013.

sam@yna.co.kr

(END)

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