SK Telecom to start 4.5G service with five-band carrier aggregation in May

2017.04.20 15:47:00 | 2017.04.20 18:02:08
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SK Telecom Co., South Korea’s largest telecommunications company said Thursday that its proprietary five-band carrier aggregation technology which expands the 4.5G LTE wireless network bandwidth to enable nearly 1 gigabit-per-second (Gbps) download speeds will service Galaxy S8, the latest premium phone of Samsung Electronics from next month.

The five-band carrier aggregation, which bundles up five wireless frequency bands into one to offer high-speed gigabit wireless internet service, is considered as the core technology in the 4.5G network. It can achieve download speeds of up to 700 megabits per second (Mbps), meaning it takes only 23 seconds to download a 2-gigabyte movie.

SK Telecom is the only wireless carrier in Korea that can offer the five-band carrier aggregation service as it is the only one that owns five frequency bands. The five-band carrier aggregation was set as one of the standards for LTE technology by the 3rd Generation Partnership Project (3GPP), an international body for mobile communications industry collaboration.

The wireless carrier will start commercial 4.5G service enabled by five-band carrier aggregation from late May, starting with 23 major cities across the country and expanding to 85 regions by June. The Samsung Galaxy S8 users who purchased the smartphone prior to the service release will be able to use the 4.5G network through a software upgrade. The company plans to embed 4.5G service on all smartphones launched afterward.

The 4.5G service will double the data handling capability at base stations and provide more stable and faster internet service in the areas with high internet usage, said the company.

The next target for the telecom company is to actualize the 1-Gbps internet speed. For this, it will commercialize 4.5G service with 900 Mbps internet speed in the latter half of this year and offer even faster wireless network service by applying 4x4 multi-antenna reception and transmission technology dubbed MIMO on its four-band and five-band carrier aggregation technologies next year. The 4x4 MIMO technology doubles data speed by using four antennas simultaneously.

Separately, the company announced that it applied the connected-mode discontinuous reception (C-DRX) technology on all its networks across the country. The C-DRX technology helps to reduce smartphone battery usage by up to 45 percent and it will be automatically applied to all SK Telecom’s LTE phones released from October 2011.

By Cho Hee-young

[ⓒ Pulse by Maeil Business News Korea & mk.co.kr, All rights reserved]

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