South Korea’s SK Telecom (SKT) reports that it surpassed a total of five million Long Term Evolution (LTE) mobile subscribers in the first week of September 2012, up from 3.75 million at the end of June. Having launched commercial LTE data services in July 2011, SKT remains ahead of nearest 4G rival LG Uplus, which launched LTE in the same month and claimed 2.58 million users at mid-2012, and KT Corp, which joined the LTE market in January 2012 and signed up 1.17 million subscribers by end-June. SKT released its first LTE-enabled smartphones in September 2011, and launched commercial voice-over-LTE (VoLTE) services in August 2012. According to TeleGeography’s GlobalComms Database, SKT expects its LTE subscriber base to top seven million by end-2012, with that number forecast to surge to more than 21 million by 2015.
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