SK Telecom and Apple are expected to unveil an LTE-Advanced (LTE-A) phone in the coming months.
An SK Telecom executive who declined to be named told The Korea Times on Monday the telco was approaching Apple to put its LTE-A technology on the upcoming iPhone 5S and "are in the middle of negotiations".
The South Korean telco also said it planned to have as many as seven LTE-A devices by the end of the year. LTE-A allows users to download at speeds of up to 150 Mbps, twice as fast as LTE.
Since South Korea has seen a large demand for devices supporting high-speed networks, Apple intends to use the country as the litmus test to gauge the marketability of LTE-A technology before making inroads into China, industry sources told the news site.
"There's no reason for Apple not to use the LTE-A technology," the SK executive said.
Samsung Electronics' Galaxy S4 LTE-A launched last week, being the first device to take advantage of SK Telecom's new technology for faster data transmission speeds. It is expected to be by six other LTE-A handsets by the end of the year.