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Monday, October 26, 2009

All three South Korean mobile operators are now on LTE migration path

According to news sources in South Korea, LG Telecom (LGT) quietly revealed their intention to migrate to LTE for 4G service in South Korea. LG-Nortel and Samsung will provide the multi-mode base stations which are part of the company's green network upgrade. SKT and KTF (now part of KT), the other two mobile operators in the country, have already announced their LTE migration path for 4G previously. Unlike SKT and KTF who will migrate from HSPA to LTE, LGT will go from EV-DO to LTE, similar to the case of Verizon Wireless.

It was probably a matter of time for LGT to announce the LTE migration plan since it was only running EV-DO network, and this officially puts LGT on the LTE camp. Now, my speculation is that other major EV-DO operators (noticeably, Sprint) who haven't announced such plans will follow the same path down the road since WiMAX does not seem to be a viable migration path for the FDD part of the network.

See related articles (in Korean) from here and here.

- Hyung

4 comments:

Anonymous said...

According to speculations in the press lately, Sprint will be unable to get out of WiMax until 2011 becuase of agreements with Intel and other stakeholders in their network.

My speculation is that this is negatively impacting any merger or take over talks Sprint has been leading with T-Mobile and other suitors.

In effect, Sprint has taken a massive "poison pill" to avoid being taken over. This however to a massive loss for their shareholders.

The rational route to go would be to kill off iDen, CDMA and WiMax as soon as possible, and roll over to T-Mobile HSPA and migrate to LTE from there on a consolidated spectrum portfolio.

gustavmahler said...

Actually, Clearwire is under the WiMAX contract, not Sprint. Also, this is the TDD network, so Sprint's FDD spectrum can migrate to LTE at any time.

Anonymous said...

In that case Sprint should follow Telus in moving to HSPA either on their own or together with T-mobile.

Betting on WiMax, or going straight to LTE like Verizon will give AT&T a walk-over for the coming two years.

At least if AT&T figure out that they need to continue to work on their HSPA network beyond 7,2Mbps.

It is unlikely that LTE will delvelop as fast as many operators hope, especially on the handset/modem side of the business.

A likely scenario is that LTE will start to take off within two years, but only claiming significant market shares well beyond that time frame.

Anonymous said...

By the way, what is Sprint spectrum position in the US?