On Thursday, SK Telecom announced a deal with Ericsson to extend its LTE network. According to SK Telecom, demand for LTE services in South Korea has increased rapidly since the commercial launch of the technology in the country in July 2011. As of today, SK Telecom provides 2.4 million of its 26 million subscribers with LTE technology.
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, says SK Telecom. 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.
Under the deal, LG-Ericsson will provide LTE network, including LTE RAN and Evolved Packet Core technologies. LG-Ericsson will also be responsible for services including engineering, design, deployment and support services, according to Martin Wiktorin, president and CEO of LG-Ericsson.
“The LTE radio access network will make use of Ericsson's Operation Support System for Radio & Core (OSS-RC) and RBS 6000 base stations," says Wiktorin.
According to an Ericsson spokesperson, LG-Ericsson will become the main partner of SK Telecom by beginning the commercial LTE service in Busan, the second largest city in Korea with a population of about 3.4 million, and Daegu areas, the fourth largest city and the third largest metropolitan area in the country with over 2.4 million residents.
This is Ericsson’s second contract with SK Telecom.