SK Telecom tests LTE-Advanced five-band CA with Samsung

SK Telecom mobile techSK Telecom has tested LTE-Advanced (LTE-A) five-band carrier aggregation (CA) on its commercial network.

SK Telecom has 10MHz bandwidth in the 800MHz band, 20MHz bandwidth in the 1.8GHz band, 10MHz bandwidth in the 2.1GHz band, 10MHz + 20 MHz bandwidths in the 2.6Ghz band as of February 2017.

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SK Telecom has been providing 500Mbps LTE-A Pro service by applying 256 QAM technology to its tri-band LTE-A CA network since June 1, 2016. The telecom operator has also acquired additional spectrum in the 2.6GHz band in May 2017, securing the basis for LTE-A five-band CA.

SK Telecom has also demonstrated the application of MIMO to its tri-band CA network, securing the capability to provide 900Mbps data speeds.

With the application of 4X4 MIMO – a technology that doubles the transmission speed – to a 20MHz bandwidth of a frequency band, users will be able to download data at maximum rate of 400Mbps per frequency band.

SK Telecom and Samsung Electronics are demonstrating this LTE-A Pro technology at Samsung booth during the MWC period, and plan to commercialize it within the first half of 2017.

“Through the demonstration of LTE-A Pro with SK Telecom, we have proven that it is not long before we realize the commercialization of 1Gbps mobile communication, a dream speed in LTE,” said Park Dong-soo, executive vice president of the Network Business at Samsung Electronics.

Meanwhile, SK Telecom and Ericsson demonstrated Licensed Assisted Access (LAA), the technology that uses unlicensed spectrum together with licensed spectrum for 4G LTE radio communication.

SK Telecom can achieve peak data rates of 1Gbps by aggregating up to 80MHz in licensed and unlicensed spectrum and applying 4X4 MIMO technology.

“With LAA, subscribers will be able to enjoy an even better LTE experience as unlicensed spectrum is used to boost data speeds. The LTE and Wi-Fi users will coexist in a fair way in the unlicensed bands and end users will benefit in indoor as well as outdoor environments,” said Per Narvinger, head of Product Area Network Systems at Ericsson.

SK Telecom holds around 50 percent of the Korean market, with 29.60 million mobile subscribers including 21.1million LTE subscribers. It has clocked KRW 17.092 trillion in revenue in 2016.