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SK Telecom plans to hit hyper-speed with its new LTE-Advanced network

While LTE in the States or Europe is pretty fast, it still pales in comparison to the kind of data speeds Korean mobile users get to experience. The gulf is set to get even wider with SK Telecom, Koreas largest carrier, announcing plans to introduce an astonishingly fast 225Mbps LTE-Advanced network later this year. 

Current LTE-A networks are capable of reaching 150Mbps, but the new technology SK Telecom will be introducing doubles that to download speeds we can only dream of in western markets. By contrast, here in the UK 100Mbps broadband is widely available, but even that doesn't come close. The speed is made possible by aggregating two different bands together. Theoretically, by using three bands a top speed of 300Mbps could be possible in the future. 

To illustrate how quick the new network will be, an 800MB video file will reportedly download in just 28 seconds. This on its own is almost a full minute quicker than regular LTE. As with current LTE-A networks, dedicated smartphones or tablets will be required to take advantage, with the supporting chipsets still in development. Is there any such thing as too fast? 

Source: SK Telecom via TNW


Reader comments

Korean carrier to launch insanely fast 225Mbps LTE network before 2014 is out


Living in Canada this is even faster than the internet IN MY FREAKING HOUSE

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Tmo is currently deploying Wideband 20x20 LTE throughout 2014, and Sprint is deploying Spark, a measly 100 million pops! But both Tmo Wideband LTE and Sprint Spark will be putting out real world/end user speeds of 70+mbps. Awesome speeds,...thought not on the same level as this 225mbps being deployed this year with this carrier.

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The big difference is that South Korea is *TINY*, just like most European countries. Providing coverage and speed is infinitely easier when you have so few towers to change. The USA is huge.

I would be perfectly happy with a measly (in comparison) 10Mbs, but only if I had it EVERYWHERE. Faster is nicer, but coverage is king.

Tiny, and with a full 50% of its population concentrated in metro Seoul (which is about equivalent to the population of metro NYC).

Truth. If they spent half their advertising budgets on technical upgrades we'd be much better off. So much of the money we spend goes to marketing and advertising, it's ridiculous.

That's cause corporations are slaves to greedy slug investors, marketing means more customers, and in turn more profit for the greedy slug investors. Their more about money in this country, than quality of product.

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I guess this is what they wanted when the companies were incorporated and became public on the stock exchange.

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No. Money is king, but if you're product sucks, you don't make money. T-Mobile and sprint are shining examples of that. Ya, Verizon makes a ton of money, but that's the point in being such a huge company.


"but if you're product sucks, you don't make money."
Sorry, but that's not true, unfortunately. Market something slick enough and folks will line up to buy it. How big of an industry is there for a product that makes your teeth yellow, your breath and clothes stink, your skin wrinkle and causes cancer? Huge. Marketing is king, quality and truth mean nothing.

In the real world though, marketing only can get the first 1000 people in the door to buy. Then, once the buyers realize that the product is stupid, they go and complain on social networks, etc. The review by the people and the opinion of the people determines what floats and what sinks. You vote with your wallet, and while marketing does play a part in that, it dosen't "control" your wallet.

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Corporations are CREATED by greedy slug investors. Did you know the founding fathers limited the amount of time a corporation could exist? That they made taking campaign contributions from corporations illegal? That it was against the law for one corporation to own another company or corporation?

"American carieers


Probably because they don't understand what you are saying

To answer the question of the article, ...NO, there is no such thing as too fast! But with faster speeds, allotments BETTER be a damn well reasonable amount!!!

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Well we already know T-Mobile and Sprint are good, AT&T may follow but I doubt Verizon would unless under pressure.

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Time to buy a true unlimited plan from T-Mobile and root my phone to tether! Use my phone as a WiFi router for the whole house.

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Hell yes!!! Especially when Wideband LTE is deployed!!!!

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Maybe when I get the *S5* I will root it, it will be a Wideband LTE capable device, so it will be worth rooting it and having unlimited wifi. I've never rooted a smartphone before, so I will have to do some major research and watch some YouTube vids on the how-to.

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It is a good solution a lot of the time, except if you have others living there.

We did it as an experiment in our house and had 2 out of 3 phones rooted and running hotspot. Between all the gadgets and time schedules it was pretty nuts to maintain. For a single person it is a viable solution....

Even rooted and with alternative apps or a phone not purchased from t-mo, they get you within 30 minutes lol.

I was curious as to what kind of data plans they have in Korea?

I have Verizon and even though the LTE is speedy, I worry about going over my GB limit. So I usually wait for wifi if I can. So even if American speeds were on par with Korea's, I feel as though it would be a waste for me due to the data cap. Anyone else think the same thing?

See, I have the opposite problem - I'm on Sprint with unlimited data that they can't take away from me now. Unfortunately, I get pretty slow speeds everywhere, so even though I want to use my phone all the time, I have to wait for Wi-Fi.

These speeds would be amazing and I want them now!

Sprint just rolled out LTE here and I'm quite impressed with the speeds. I got 21mbps so I would be patient and wait.

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Don't ever believe they can't take your unlimited data plan away from you. You may have said it tongue in cheek, but any provider can terminate your current service and modify it. You have a choice to stay with the provider of go elsewhere.

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I had used a couple of Korean carriers for several months before. Carriers in Korea are generous with data if you compare pricings to the US carriers - you can easily get 10GB for about $80 a month. The marginal price increase (or decrease) for having more (or less) data is not quite significant.

The problem with me was their voice is so expensive. They did not have unlimited weekend or unlimited night time until a few months ago when they introduced unlimited voice for ~$60-70 a month + some 4GB data or so. Koreans care less about voice though. The overall culture is very much text oriented rather than calling up people.

Ohhhhhhh I haTe texting!!!! Texting & Facebook have totally killed human interaction. I value people who exist in the real world a lot more than texting!

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Sneaky fuckin Koreans... I miss that place. When I was there in 2000 you mostly bought prepaid sim cards... I am curious what they do now, too...

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Please do not compare South Korea to the US, to deploy such speeds in the US is a far bigger task than doing so in South Korea, the size of their country can fit in Texas numerous times.

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Unfortunately the improved speed is made by aggregating bandwidths.
What we need is more data pr MHz, or move up in frequency to gain more space.

The number of users will increase rapidly, and having one user hog many bands is not the solution.

We need someone who is truly knowledgeable about LTE-Advanced and carrier aggregation, to discuss the sort of data traffic that can be handled over a Class 4, or Class 5 LTE-A network.

Cause I really do think LTE-A & Carrier aggregation can handle plenty of traffic. Of course ATT & Vzn will neverrrrrr admit that. Cause they want to keep people doing nothing with their smartphones other than email and Facebook.

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Maybe, but speaking as a cable guy, we are getting are speeds up much in the same manner, bonding multiple channels to increase speed. The rf part is essentially the same for both kinds of network, so unless new tech is invented, I don't see how you get more speed per mhz of rf.


If you read about LTE-A on Wikipedia, it says that eventually, the technology will be capable of 1gbps, so yes, more speed per mhz is definitely possible.

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Instead they should have said... To illustrate how quick that is, you could burn through your monthly data allowance in approximately 84 seconds.

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Or be with T-Mobile and actually be able to USE your smartphone!

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Very true... I'm amazed with what my smartphone can actually do with a solid LTE connection...

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We all need to remember that the amount of traffic on the Korean mobile networks these days is absolutely insane. Even with LTE, tons of people have been complaining about slow downloads (a similar complaint often shows up for its fiber optic internet, too). Hopefully this helps alleviate the mess.

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How come these kinds of things happen first in other countries rather than starting in the US and spread to others?

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Verizon LTE with 40 Mbps is more than enough for me but again some ppl want to stream 4k porn so dis is good

Sent from my Nexus 7 2013 or iPhone 5

EE here in UK has already launched 300Mbps in East London for Tech City. Starting national roll out thus summer

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What's the point? I have 35/35 FiOS and the bottleneck are the servers and its the rare download site that serves anything up much faster than that.

Its been years since anything slowing down could be attributed to my ISP speed.

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