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South Korea launches second LTE-Advanced network

The country's smallest mobile carrier starts rolling out its own LTE-A network, says Yonhap News.

One of the images that leaked out this week of Samsung's new Galaxy S4 LTE-A.
One of the images that leaked out this week of Samsung's new Galaxy S4 LTE-A.

South Korea is ramping up support for LTE-Advanced devices.

LG Uplus, South Korea's smallest mobile provider, has unveiled its own LTE-A network offering around twice the speed possible through regular LTE, Yonhap reported on Thursday. The new service is presently available in Seoul and a few other major cities, but it will reportedly branch out to the rest of the country by the end of September.

In June, fellow Korean provider SK Telecom launched the world's first LTE-Advanced network.

Both companies explained that the faster speed of LTE-A is achieved through carrier aggregation, which bundles two frequency bands to bump up the bandwidth. LTE-A currently offers data transfer rates of 150Mbps, but SK Telecom said it expects the platform to reach speeds of 500Mbps by 2015.

So far, only one smartphone is compatible with LTE-A.

Last month, Samsung launched a new variant of its Galaxy S4 to support the speedier network. LG Uplus said it expects a flurry of LTE-A smartphones, tablets, and other mobile devices to roll out down the road. LG Electronics and Pantech are already planning LTE-A smartphones, Yonhap said.