SK Telecom launches LTE-Advanced on Galaxy S4 LTE-A

Up to 150 Mbps? Not bad for a mobile network. That's twice the speed of my old 4G, and we call it 4G LTE-Advanced.

SK Telecom just announced* a launch for July in Seoul, a world first at the commercial level. Russia's Yota did do something last december, but the Korean operator has the handset to go with the network: the Samsung's Galaxy S4 LTE-A.

On SKT's T world shop, this SHV-E330S_32GR sells for KRW 954,800 (USD 826):

Customers will enjoy new services or rather richer / fuller ones: faster, with more splitscreens (up to 6), more HD... and they won't pay a premium for the Advanced speed. For their new, improved, and advanced usages? That could be a different story...

Coverage-wise, SKT plans progressively adapt 20,000 base stations and reach 84 cities, which should mean at least 75% of the population if the said cities are fully covered.

Speed is expected to increase even more next year, when Enhanced Inter-Cell Interference Coordination (eICIC) is ready. For the moment, we'll have to do with "Advanced minus" stuff: Carrier Aggregation (CA) and Coordinated Multi Point (CoMP). It may sound trivially geeky, but for the enduser experience to be as seamless as possible, algorithms do make a difference, particularly in HetNet environments (more geek lingua, this time for Heterogeneous Networks).

Now is this 4.5G, 4.66G, or 4.75G? That's marketing. And not yet 5G. "New generation" usually means new spectrum / new licenses.

Like pornography, you'll know it's 5G when you see it. Particularly if you're in the finance department.

mot-bile 2013
* see PR release today: "SK텔레콤, 2배 빠른 LTE 세계 최초 상용화"

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