FierceWirelessTech Editor Tammy Parker recently spoke with Alex Jinsung Choi, executive vice president and head of SK Telecom's ICT R&D division, regarding the operator's roadmaps for LTE Advanced and 5G. Choi touched on the challenges of deploying carrier aggregation technology, other LTE Advanced features the carrir has brought to its network and the company's vision of 5G. Hot Seat
The South Korean mobile communications market is one of the world's most competitive and innovative. That keeps the pressure on SK Telecom, South Korea's largest mobile service provider, to find way to keep implementing cutting-edge technologies. Editor Tammy Parker recently conducted an email Q&A with Alex Jinsung Choi, executive vice president and head of SK Telecom's ICT R&D division, regarding the operator's roadmaps for LTE-Advanced and 5G. The following is an edited and condensed version of that Q&A.
LTE Advanced is the next phase in the network technology roadmap and many operators are embarking on the LTE-A migration path more quickly than expected thanks to the escalating growth in mobile data. As of July 1, the trade group 4G Americas had tallied 13 operators that had deployed LTE-A in 11 countries worldwide. In the U.S. there is just one operator so far: AT&T Mobility.
Bouygues Telecom this week announced the launch of commercial LTE Advanced (LTE-A) services in a number of towns and cities across France, and SFR and Orange also took the opportunity to provide an update on their LTE-A rollout strategies.
LTE is gaining ground globally and is now commercially deployed in 300 wireless networks globally today and is expected to be in 350 networks globally by year-end. In addition, the next iteration of LTE, or LTE Advanced, is also expanding its reach with nine commercial deployments globally today and 40 networks expected to have LTE Advanced by year-end, according to the trade group 4G Americas.
It's been one year since South Korea's SK Telecom became the world's first carrier to activate LTE Advanced carrier aggregation with a commercial smartphone available for use with the service. That anniversary prompted me to ask around about any pitfalls to this technology that carriers and vendors may have come across now that there is a year of carrier-aggregation experience under the industry's collective belt.
Intel is envisioning the introduction of PCs that will require absolutely no cables by 2016, enabled by wireless display, docking and charging technologies.
Sprint is jumping into LTE Advanced (LTE-A) carrier aggregation later this year as part of its Sprint Spark initiative, and the operator is also taking hard looks at numerous other cutting-edge technologies, such as SON and even Cloud RAN, for inclusion in its long-term roadmap, said a top executive.
The total LTE baseband market will expand by 47 percent to reach 338 million units this year, according to a new report from Forward Concepts. The firm said the LTE baseband market totaled 291 million units in 2013, up from 103 million in 2012.
Intel reported overall first-quarter results that slightly beat analysts' expectation, but the company also laid bare its current financial weakness in the mobile market. Intel CEO Brian Krzanich and other executives said the company has a solid roadmap and path to profitability, but that it will take time to make money from chips it puts into smartphones, tablets and other mobile devices.