This blog is by Stephan Litjens from Nokia Solutions and Networks.
Three cheers to all three mobile operators in Korea on their successful commercial launch this summer of the world’s first LTE-Advanced networks. It’s the start of a veritable speed revolution now that SK Telecom, LG U+ and KT have switched on LTE-A connectivity as users will have access to data speeds of up to 150Mbps.
LTE and LTE-Advanced is an amazing success story in Korea and NSN is proud to be part of all three networks. SK Telecom caught media attention at Mobile World Congress 2012 with their demonstration of LTE-Advanced Carrier Aggregation using the NSN Flexi base station. And now, a year later, LTE-A capable smartphones are hitting the market to support these higher speeds, making LTE-A a commercial reality. This is a huge milestone for the whole industry.
Let’s recap the Korean LTE adventure: During 2012, all three operators achieved nationwide LTE coverage, a feat unduplicated by any other country thus far. VoLTE, another world first, was also launched during 2012 as was deployment of the second LTE carrier, which added capacity for the ever increasing LTE subscriber base in Korea. By summer 2013, LTE subscriber penetration had already approached 50%!
How does it work?
LTE-A is achieved through carrier aggregation, which bundles two frequency bands to bump up the bandwidth. LTE-A currently offers data transfer rates of 150Mbps and basically transforms mobile connectivity into multi-lane super highways. NSN’s solution for carrier aggregation is a software update to dual carrier LTE deployments. Given the ongoing spectrum auctions in Korea, we know that the current status of carrier aggregation on two carriers is just an interim step towards the future aggregation of more bandwidth.
As a frontline supplier of LTE/LTE-Advanced to SK Telecom, LG U+ and KT, NSN is soaking in firsthand experience – from managing heavily trafficked large-scale LTE networks to real system behavior in terms of network quality and the impact of LTE-A introduction on users of legacy LTE devices. This is invaluable when delivering and optimizing LTE/TD-LTE networks in other parts of the world. Congratulations again to SK Telecom, LG U+ and KT! We look forward to reaching another world first together.
Read more about NSN’s LTE here.