South Korea’s smallest cellco by subscribers, LG Uplus, has announced the completion of its nationwide Long Term Evolution (LTE) network rollout, the JoongAng Daily reports. The operator is saying that it is the first in South Korea to achieve nationwide 4G coverage, and has also claimed that the development makes it the first in the world to inaugurate a nationwide LTE infrastructure. As of the announcement, LG Uplus’ 4G services are now available in 86 cities across the country, along all highways, and in subways, airports and train stations. Having spent more than KRW1.25 trillion (USD1.1 billion) on the rollout, LG Uplus also announced plans to construct an additional LTE network operating over the 2.1GHz band, with a view to ensuring demand for data services is met; the operator’s existing 4G infrastructure utilises the 800MHz band. Commenting on the development, LG Uplus Vice Chairman Lee Sang-chul said: ‘We aim to become the number one in LTE with quality service and we believe that will help us become number one among mobile service carriers.’
The report also notes that, with all three of the country’s mobile network operators now having launched commercial LTE offerings, market leader SK Telecom (SKT) has also taken up the front runner spot in terms of LTE subscribers, counting some 1.73 million. LG Uplus, meanwhile, is understood to have 1.46 million 4G customers, while KT Corp, which as previously reported by CommsUpdate became the last to launch LTE in January 2012, has around 400,000.