4G LTE users in Korea touch 8.4 million mark

Telecom Lead Asia: The number of 4G LTE network users in
Korea has touched the 8.4 million mark.

The 4G LTE subscribers are expected to nearly double by
year’s end.

SK Telecom, Korea’s largest mobile carrier, reported its 4 millionth subscriber
on Friday, 44 days after it said user numbers reached 3 million, Korea Times

KT Corp., the country’s No. 2 mobile communication service provider, said it
provided LTE service to 1.4 million users as of early last week, with the
number growing steadily on a daily basis.

LG Uplus, South Korea’s smallest mobile carrier, said that people using its 4G
network should break the 3 million mark in a few days, as more and more people
opt for the super-fast communications network that allows people to see movies
with no lag time and download full-length movies in seconds.

The popularity of LTE-capable smartphones and creation of nationwide networks
are spurring rapid growth.

SK Telecom said it completed setting up a network covering the entire country
late last month. The company said that coming into July, LTE subscriber numbers
surged 71 percent on a daily basis vis-a-vis June.

LG Uplus, which had been the first local mobile carrier to build a
fourth-generation network across the country, said thanks to the surge in LTE
users, it will be able to have 10 million telecommunication service subscribers
by the end of 2012, compared to around 9 million in 2010 and 2011.

KT said last week that it is moving to start so-called voice over LTE (VoLTE)
services, to compete more effectively with rivals.

VoLTE allows consumers to use both voice and data services simultaneously. It
is also claimed to offer superior voice communication quality.

SK Telecom and LG Uplus said they will be using this technology in their

Besides offering more advanced technologies, local mobile carriers are stepping
up their drive to give better contents, and beefing up reward services to win
over users in the heavily saturated market. If the number of LTE users
increases at the present pace, total subscribers can surpass 10 million within
the third quarter and 16 million by year’s end.

[email protected]