South Korea’s SK Telecom (SKT) has announced that it has achieved its previously set target, having surpassed seven million Long Term Evolution (LTE) subscribers. Making a direct comparison between the uptake for its 4G services compared with the uptake of its 3G option, SKT noted that it had taken it one year and five months to hit seven million LTE customers, whereas it took more than two years to sign up the same number of 3G accesses. Further, SKT also noted that LTE subscribers now represent 26% of its total mobile subscriber base, up from just 2.4% at the end of November 2011. The cellco has attributed the significant growth in part to the nationwide deployment of its LTE network, which it completed in July 2012, while it also highlighted the introduction of multi-carrier LTE, which enables 4G services to be offered in both the 800MHz and 1800MHz bands, as another driver for uptake, thanks to its speed and performance benefits.
Looking ahead, SKT has set out its target for customer growth over the next year, with the mobile network operator saying that it aims to have boosted its LTE subscriber numbers to 14 million by the end of 2013.
Commenting on the development, SKT’s executive vice president and head of marketing division, Jang Dong-hyun, said: ‘SK Telecom smoothly achieved the year-end target of seven million LTE subscribers backed by unmatched network quality, LTE-specialised services and a rich line-up of LTE devices … As LTE is expected to become the mainstream service in 2013, we will focus on developing and offering differentiated LTE services to deliver greater value and convenience for our customers.’