Thursday, November 28, 2013

SK Telecom Demos LTE-A Carrier Aggregation of 1.8GHz + 800MHz Bands

SK Telecom has demonstrated downlink speeds of 225 Mbps by using LTE-Advanced Carrier Aggregation to combine 20MHz bandwidth in 1.8GHz band and 10MHz bandwidth in 800MHz band. For comparison, the carrier's regular LTE service delivers a maximum of 150Mbps of speeds using 20MHz of continuous spectrum in one band.

SK Telecom said its planned upgrade to LTE-Advanced (20MHz+10MHz) will enable mobile customers to download an 800MB movie in just 28 seconds, significantly faster than other networks. Measured at their maximum speeds, downloading the same movie file via 3G, LTE, and the existing LTE-Advanced (10MHz+10MHz) would take 7 minutes and 24 seconds, 1 minute and 25 seconds, and 43 seconds, respectively.

The company said that it expects to launch the ‘20MHz+10MHz’ LTE-Advanced service nationwide through smartphones in the second half of 2014, pending release of LTE-Advanced smartphone chipsets.

SK Telecom is also working on aggregating three component carriers (20MHz+10MHz+10MHz) to support up to 300Mbps.

Alex Jinsung Choi, Executive Vice President and Head of ICT R&D Division at SK Telecom said, “SK Telecom has been leading the development of wireless networks since it commercialized CDMA (2G) technology for the world’s first time in 1996. Today’s successful demonstration of 225 Mbps LTE-Advanced will serve as a momentum for SK Telecom to realize more innovative network technologies, which will also lead to the growth of relevant industries, including device, content and convergence fields.”

  • In June 2013, SK Telecom launched the world's first LTE-Advanced (LTE-A) service through smartphones. The LTE-A service offers download speeds of up to 150 Mbps, which is two times faster than its regular LTE service, and 10 times faster than its 3G network. LTE-A coverage initially is available in Seoul and central city areas of Gyeongg-do and Chungcheong-do.  Expansion to 84 cities nationwide is planned. At top speed, SK Telecom's LTE-A users can download an 800MB movie in just 43 seconds. The LTE-A implementation leverages several advanced mobile network technologies including Carrier Aggregation (CA) and Coordinated Multi Point (CoMP). SK Telecom plans to implement Enhanced Inter-Cell Interference Coordination (eICIC) in 2014.
    CA supports up to 150 Mbps speed by combining two 10 MHz components carriers to form an effective bandwidth of 20 MHz. The company said further advancements should yield rates up to 300Mbps speed by aggregating two 20MHz component carriers by 2015, and become capable of combining three component carriers by 2016. An uplink capability using carrier aggregation should also be possible by 2016.  The current CA standards allow for up to five 20 MHz carriers to be aggregated.
  • In August 2013, SK Telecom gained authorization to operate 35 MHz bandwidth (20 downlink + 15 uplink) in 1.8GHz band, and immediately launched diverse measures to strengthen both its LTE and LTE-Advanced services by utilizing the newly acquired bandwidth.


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