LG Uplus, South Korea’s 3rd largest mobile operator, yesterday launched the nation’s first unlimited mobile service package, a move that was echoed later in the day by SK Telecom, South Korea’s largest mobile provider, and Korea Telecom, which both announced a similar service.
While “unlimited LTE” plans have been offered in the past by the three mobile carriers, none of those plans actually provided unlimited LTE data service.
But the LG Uplus unlimited LTE 80 and unlimited LTE 85 plans, launched by LG U+ yesterday, are offering unlimited LTE data, along with unlimited voice calls and messaging for 80,000 won ($75.62). The 85,000 won plan provides more services such as U+HDTV, U+Professional Baseball and Ticket Planet.
As part of the new plan offered by LG U+, when data usage exceeds 2 gigabytes a day, the LTE speed will be limited to 3 megabits per second.
SK Telecom’s unlimited data plan limits the speed if more than 10 gigabytes, 14 gigabytes or 16 gigabytes are used, according to different data plans.
SK Telecom launched the Korea’s first 4G LTE in 2011 and commercialized the Multi Carrier (MC) technology in July 2011.
In 2013, SK Telecom became the first provider in the world to offer a LTE-Advanced network. The multi-carrier technology allows SK to utilize both its existing 800MHz frequency band and the 1.8GHz band. With an additional 20MHz uplink/downlink spectrum, it will be using a total of 40MHz for its LTE services.
SK Telecom offers a range of services to enrich customer’s mobile experience through unlimited data. Subscribers will get multimedia for free including ‘B tv mobile’, a full HD mobile IPTV service providing real-time streaming and replay of TV programs and sports games, and the biggest unlimited music streaming service in Korea.
Meanwhile, Verizon Wireless reduced the price of its 10 GB per month plans for customers on its More Everything plans. The carrier will now cut $25 off the cost of a line of service to a smartphone if customers choose a data bucket of 10 GB or more. The result exactly matches the pricing AT&T Mobility launched in February–four smartphones sharing 10 GB of data for $160.
TD-LTE and LTE-Advanced will account for more than half of LTE Macro Basestations by 2015, according to ABI Research. By 2018, ABI Research forecasts that there will be 1.467 billion LTE subscriptions worldwide; of those, 34% will be on LTE-Advanced (Release 10+) networks, while 42% and 24% will be on the older Release 8/9 LTE-FDD and LTE-TDD networks, respectively.
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