SK Telecom Successfully Tests LTE-Advanced Five-Band Carrier Aggregation

SK Telecom has successfully tested LTE-Advanced (LTE-A) five-band carrier aggregation (CA) on its commercial network in Korea. The company has been providing 500 Mbps LTE-A Pro service by using 256 QAM technology on its tri-band LTE-A CA network. As of February 2017 its bandwidth resources now include 10 MHz bandwidth in the 800 MHz band, 20 MHz bandwidth in the 1.8 GHz band, 10 MHz bandwidth in the 2.1 GHz band and 10 MHz + 20 MHz bandwidths in the 2.6 GHz band. The company also acquired additional spectrum in the 2.6 GHz band in May 2017, securing the basis for LTE-A five-band CA.

SK Telecom has also successfully demonstrated the application of MIMO to its tri-band CA network, thereby securing the capability to provide 900 Mbps data speeds. With the application of 4X4 MIMO - a technology that doubles the transmission speed - to a 20 MHz bandwidth of a frequency band, users will now be able to download data at maximum rate of 400 Mbps per frequency band. It recently along with Samsung Electronics demonstrated the LTE-A Pro technology during the MWC period, and now plans to commercialize it within the first half of 2017.

SK Telecom also announced that it, together with Ericsson, successfully demonstrated Licensed Assisted Access (LAA), the technology that uses unlicensed spectrum together with licensed spectrum for 4G LTE radio communication. By aggregating up to 80 MHz in licensed and unlicensed spectrum and applying 4X4 MIMO technology, peak data rates of 1 Gbps is achievable.