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SK Telecom offers unlimited LTE data to subscribers

SK Telecom is offering unlimited LTE data to customers subscribing to a monthly fixed rate plan of KRW80,000 ($  75) per month or above

SK Telecom is offering unlimited LTE data to customers subscribing to a monthly fixed rate plan of KRW80,000 ($ 75) per month or above

South Korean operator SK Telecom is offering unlimited LTE data to customers subscribing to a monthly fixed rate plan of KRW80,000 ($ 75) per month or above. The operator has announced three tariffs that offer unlimited LTE data, voice calls and SMS messages.

Subscribers to the operator’s T&All 75+Unlimited Data Option, T&All 85 and T&All 100 plans can take advantage of the unlimited data, calls and messages at no additional cost and without having to sign up to the upgrade. There are around one million subscribers on these plans according to the operator; it has a total of 27.4 million subscribers, according to the latest figures from Informa’s WCIS.

After exceeding 8GB of data usage in the case of LTE T&All 75+Unlmited Data Option subscribers, 12GB for LTE T&All 85 subscribers and 16GB for LTE T&All 100 subscribers, users will be entitled to 2GB of LTE data per day but performance thereafter will be dependent on available network resource, SK Telecom said.

The operator also plans to launch two further unlimited data bolt-ons: Unlimited Data Option for Commuters and 24-Hour Data Double Option.

The Unlimited Data Option for Commuters plan gives users unrestricted access at peak hours–7am to 9am and 6pm to 8pm–at a monthly fixed rate of KRW9,000.

SK Telecom said data consumed during these hours accounts for as much as 20 per cent of its total daily traffic. The average commute in South Korea is estimated to be 55 minutes and the number of people who spend more than an hour travelling to work has increased 35 per cent over the last decade, according to Statistics Korea and the Korea Transport Institute.

The 24-Hour Data Double Option add-on, priced at KRW 3,500, allows the user to be charged for just 50 per cent of the data they use within 24 hours of activating the service. SK Telecom said that this option is suitable for subscribers who need immediate short term access to high volumes of data, to watch sports games in ultra high definition or download large files.

The 9th annual LTE Asia conference is taking place on the 15th-17th September 2014 at the Suntec, Singapore. Click here to download a brochure for the event.

“SK Telecom has decided to introduce unlimited LTE data plans as well as optional plans designed for specific needs in order to further enrich customer’s mobile experience,” said Yoon Won-young, EVP and head of marketing.

“We will continue to carefully study our customers’ interests and needs, and analyse their usage patterns to come up with better products and services that deliver greater value and benefits to our customers.”

In January, SK Telecom announced it has successfully developed LTE-Advanced tri-band carrier aggregation technology to ease network congestion in built up areas in South Korea. It followed the announcement by announcing plans to extend its LTE and LTE-A networks by building additional base stations using the 1.8GHz band by the end of this year.

Then in February, the operator launched a platform that it says will provide real time information on what its customers are doing. The Context Platform uses data collected by a customer’s smartphone via its camera, GPS, sensors and wifi to discover contextual information about that subscriber.

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SK Telecom platform knows what subscribers are doing

SK Telecom has launched a platform that it says will provide information on what specific situation a customer is in

SK Telecom has launched a platform that it says will provide information on what specific situation a customer is in

South Korean operator SK Telecom has launched a platform that it says will provide real time information on what its customers are doing. The Context Platform uses data collected by a customer’s smartphone, if it is embedded with the platform, via its camera, GPS, sensors and wifi to discover contextual information about that subscriber.

The firm explained that the platform allows it to make informed guesses about whether  the user is walking, for example, as the handset detects the user’s repeated movement and speed via its sensors and GPS. It then analyses the data it has collected through an algorithm to conclude that the user is “in a walking situation”. SK Telecom added that the more the platform repeats this process of analysis, the more accurate the platform becomes.

The operator said the platform can also make conclusions based on customers’ usage patterns involving social networking, voice calls, SMS and applications.

The operator announced the platform at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona and also showcased a service running on the platform. ‘Life Log’ monitors a user’s daily life, such as their leisure activities, habits and health-related activities. The subscriber can later look up their past records and statistics.

Other examples of services that can run on the platform include money management applications and recommended song playlists, SK Telecom added.

The operator said it “will take all steps necessary” to safeguard the sensitive personal information on its subscribers. It said that information generated from each smartphone can only be stored in and accessed via that particular device. It added that it is currently developing an application lock feature and a feature that records certain pre-selected types of information to prevent that information being accessed by third parties.

“Along with Big Data, Context Platform is an important pillar of the newly emerging field of ICT intelligence,” said Park Jin-hyo, SVP and head of network technology R&D Center at SK Telecom.

“With Context Platform, smartphones will truly become an indispensable life partner for customers.”

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SK Telecom to expand LTE-A network with 1.8GHz spectrum

SK Telecom has announced plans to extend its LTE and LTE-A networks by building additional base stations using the 1.8GHz band by the end of this year

SK Telecom has announced plans to extend its LTE and LTE-A networks by building additional base stations using the 1.8GHz band by the end of this year

South Korean LTE pioneer SK Telecom has announced plans to extend its LTE and LTE-A networks by building additional base stations using the 1.8GHz band by the end of this year. The operator claims that the network improvement will result in subscribers experiencing mobile broadband speeds of 150Mbps nationwide.

SK Telecom had already rolled out its LTE network nationwide using 10MHz in the 800MHz frequency band in April last year.

The operator has spectrum holdings in the 800MHz and 1800MHz bands and said that it has developed technology that can combine three blocks of spectrum – 20MHz, 10MHz and 10MHz – across these bands to support LTE-Advanced technology offering speeds of up to 300Mbps.

SK Telecom has also gained approval to use 10MHz bandwidth in the 2.1GHz band for LTE after securing 30MHz bandwidth in the 2.1GHz band in South Korea’s spectrum auction in 2010.

“With the newly added 10 MHz LTE bandwidth in the 2.1GHz band, SK Telecom now secures LTE bandwidth in three different frequency bands – i.e. 10MHz in 800MHz band, 20MHz in 1.8GHz band and 10MHz in 2.1GHz band – thus moving one step closer to realising LTE-Advanced tri-band carrier aggregation technology that supports up to 300Mbps,” the operator said in a statement.

SK Telecom plans to begin building base stations for LTE in the 2.1GHz band in the second quarter of this year and will commercially roll out the network when supporting handsets come to the market.

Last month, the operator announced it had seen a modest year on year increase in revenue for FY2013, but recorded a 44.3 per cent increase in consolidated net income.

 

LTE Asia 2014 takes place on the 23rd to 25th September at the Marina Bay Sands, Singapore.

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