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Report: LTE-Advanced iPhone Coming to SK Telecom

Tue, 07/02/2013 - 10:28am
Ben Munson

Hot on the heels of Samsung, Apple is planning to release an LTE-Advanced (LTE-A) iPhone on SK Telecom’s newly launched LTE-A network.

The Korea Times, citing an unnamed SK Telecom exec, said Apple and the Korean carrier are in the middle of negotiations and hoping for a release in the next few months.

SK Telecom last week announced the launch of its LTE-A network and a version of Samsung’s Galaxy S4 flagship that will take advantage of the faster download speeds. SK Telecom’s LTE-A uses carrier aggregation technology to combine LTE signals and achieve faster download rates. The carrier added that it plans to deploy Enhanced Inter-Cell Interference Coordination by 2014.

SK Telecom has said it plans to offer as many as seven LTE-A devices by the end of the year.

But it will be a while before Samsung’s, Apple’s or any other OEM’s LTE-A devices have any use in the U.S., where no carrier has yet launched an LTE-A network. Verizon has mentioned plans to begin migrating to LTE-A. AT&T has promised to begin its LTE-A rollout in 2013. T-Mobile has just begun its LTE launch so it could some time before it takes the next step and Sprint is working hard to secure the financing and spectrum to continue its move to LTE away from ill-fated WiMax.

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