South Korea's third-largest mobile operator, LG Uplus, has revealed plans to slash its investment in tri-band LTE-Advanced (LTE-A) networks that has proved too costly, and use the funds to improve its existing services.
The carrier had planned to roll out the advanced network systems across the country, but realized it would cost too much, reported The Korea Times, which cited an LG official. "We believe very few customers can feel a difference between LTE-A and tri-band LTE-A. Uplus will try hard to provide more enhancements to our existing clients by saving costs," he said.
The report noted that the country's three mobile operators, including SK Telecom and KT, had begun championing the tri-band LTE-A service after the South Korean government mandated a limit to subsidies carriers could offer to consumers.
This marketing strategy, however, had been called out as misleading. The Korea Times quoted an official from the Ministry of Science, ICT and Future Planning to say: "Telecom companies seek to secure their bottom line by promoting that tri-band LTE-A is totally new and innovative, [but] how many consumers can benefit from using the tri-band LTE-A? Tri-band LTE-A is deceptive marketing."
The report added that Samsung Electronics and LG Electronics were planning to offer, only in South Korea, new mobile devices that support tri-band LTE-A service. Fewer than 20,000 units of LG's G-Flex tri-band LTE-A devices have been sold so far, it said.