South Korea reaches 8.4M LTE users

Long-term evolution (LTE) subscribers in country up due to available handsets and nationwide network access, with figure expected to double by end-2012, says report.

The number of long-term evolution (LTE) subscribers in South Korea has reached 8.4 million, boosted by popularity of LTE-enabled smartphones and nationwide coverage, says report.

A Korea Times report on Sunday, citing unnamed sources, said SK Telecom reached 4 million LTE subscribers last Friday. Second-largest operator, KT, said last week its LTE users were at 1.4 million while LG Uplus noted it should reach 3 million LTE users "in a few days", it added.

The country's LTE adoption is currently driven by the popularity of LTE-based smartphones  and ready access to the next-generation mobile network across the country, it noted.

One market watcher told the news agency that the total number of LTE subscriber will surpass 10 million within the third quarter of 2012 if it continues to grow at this pace. By the end of the year, it could even reach 16 million, the observer added.

All three local telcos have also been enticing consumers with mobile games given that the faster network speeds offered by LTE will enhance the user experience for such services, an earlier report stated.