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LTE-Advanced mobile network reports impressive speeds

SEOUL, June 28 (Yonhap) -- A LTE-advanced mobile network, touted as true 4G mobile communication technology, has proved to be mind-blowing by offering speeds twice as fast as the existing LTE network, test results have shown.

SK Telecom Co., the country's leading mobile carrier, launched the mobile network for the first time in the world on Wednesday, which it claims is also 10 times faster than the old 3G network service.

Samsung Electronics Co., the world's largest smartphone maker, began to sell the Galaxy S4, which runs on the LTE-Advanced network, on the same day.

One test in southern Seoul using the Galaxy S4-Advanced reported a download speed of 34.9 megabits per second and an upload speed of 10.1 Mbps around 9 p.m. on Thursday, roughly two times faster than the speeds offered on the existing LTE network.

Another test in Gangnam, Seoul's affluent southern district, showed a download speed of 83.3 Mbps, compared with a speed of 45.7 Mbps offered on the existing LTE network.

The biggest problem for LTE-Advanced customers at the moment, however, is finding LTE-Advanced network connection locations. When an LTE-Advanced smartphone cannot find its connection, it automatically reverts to the existing LTE network.

The number of smartphone users and the users' locations also make a difference in network speeds.

SK Telecom said its LTE-Advanced service is currently available in Seoul and 43 other major cities, and will expand to 84 cities sometime down the road.

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 150 Mbps by combining two 10 MHz component carriers to form an effective bandwidth of 20 MHz spectrum bands, it said.