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SK Telecom Attains Year-End Target of 7 Million LTE Subscriber

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  • Number of LTE subscribers increased by 11 times compared to that of the same period last year

  • With the launch of iPhone 5, the number of LTE subscribers is rising rapidly

  • Expects to surpass the 14 million LTE subscriber mark by the end of 2013 as LTE becomes the mainstream service

SK Telecom (NYSE: SKM) announced today that its LTE subscribers surpassed 7 million as of December 12, 2012, thereby achieving the end of year target for LTE subscribers.

SK Telecom exceeded the 7 million subscriber mark in just one year and five months after launching Korea's first LTE service in July 2011, whereas it took the company two years and four months to acquire 7 million 3G WCDMA subscribers since commercializing the service in May 2006.

At present, the company's LTE subscribers take up 26 percent of its total mobile subscriber base, expanding 11 fold compared to the end of November 2011 when it reported 630,000 LTE subscribers, accounting for a mere 2.4 percent of the total.

In particular, the growth of LTE subscribers has accelerated since July 2012 when the company completed nationwide LTE deployment covering 99 percent of the nation's population and commercialized Multi Carrier, a cutting-edge LTE technology that improves LTE network speed and performance.

LTE subscriber growth is being once again buoyed by the launch of Apple's iPhone 5 on December 7, 2012. The company is adding a daily average of 60,000 customers, representing over 50 percent growth compared to the last month. SK Telecom also said that it expects to secure over 7.4 million LTE subscribers by the end of 2012 backed by strong sales of iPhone 5. Moreover, it expects to expand its LTE subscriber base to 14 million by the end of 2013.

"SK Telecom smoothly achieved the year-end target of 7 million LTE subscribers backed by unmatched network quality, LTE-specialized services and a rich lineup of LTE devices," said Jang Dong-hyun, Executive Vice President and Head of Marketing Division of SK Telecom. "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."