Demand for LTE services in South Korea has increased rapidly since the commercial launch of the technology in the country in July 2011. By the end of April 2012, SK Telecom (NYSE:SKM) - South Korea's leading operator with more than 26 million mobile subscribers -reached 2.4 million LTE subscribers.
To meet this fast-growing demand, SK Telecom has selected Ericsson (NASDAQ:ERIC) to extend its LTE network. The LTE network extension will be carried out by Ericsson's operating unit in Korea, LG-Ericsson and is scheduled to be completed within the first half of this year.
This agreement for the commercial launch of LTE services in some of the country's major cities - including Busan and Daegu - makes Ericsson one of the operator's main partners.
SK Telecom highlighted that meeting its users' expectations and delivering high-quality services are priorities, and that it is important to work constantly to make improvements in these areas. Having Ericsson as a partner to help expand its LTE service offering to its subscribers is considered a very positive thing.
Martin Wiktorin, President and CEO of LG-Ericsson, says: "As a result of this expansion, SK Telecom will be able to offer its users broader network coverage and an enhanced mobile-broadband experience, ensuring continued loyalty among its customers and continued market leadership."
"LG-Ericsson will provide the LTE network including LTE RAN and Evolved Packet Core as well as support services including engineering, design, deployment and support services. The LTE radio access network will make use of Ericsson's Operation Support System for Radio & Core (OSS-RC) and RBS 6000 base stations."
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