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LG Uplus outlines plans for increased LTE investment

31 Jan 2012

LG Uplus, South Korea’s smallest mobile network operator in terms of subscribers, has reportedly said that it plans to invest around KRW955.6 billion (USD645 million) on the development of its Long Term Evolution (LTE) network in 2012. According to the Korea Herald, the figure represents around 24% of the cellco’s equity capital, and the move comes as LG Uplus aims to step up its efforts to complete the nationwide rollout of its 4G infrastructure by March 2012 as previously planned. By the end of 2012 LG Uplus has also said it that it aims to have signed up four million customers to its LTE offerings, with the local press source citing an unnamed official from the cellco as saying: ‘When the nationwide coverage of LTE is completed, the number of LTE subscribers will soar explosively.’

The operator meanwhile has released its financial results for both the three- and twelve-month periods ended 31 December 2011, with LG Uplus revealing an 8% year-on-year increased in revenues for the fiscal year. Turnover for the twelve-month period stood at KRW9.256 trillion, up from KRW8.500 trillion a year earlier, while in the last quarter of the year revenues totalled KRW2.454 trillion, up just over 20% year-on-year. Net profit meanwhile for FY2011 slumped from KRW570 billion to KRW84.7 billion, in part as a result of increased capital expenditures – which were up 49.4% y-o-y at KRW1.715 trillion – and higher income tax. Earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) for the twelve-month period were KRW1.475 trillion, down from KRW1.908 trillion.

In operational terms, at the end of December 2011 LG Uplus’ mobile subscriber base stood at 9.391 million, up 4.1% against the end of 2010. Fixed line voice customers totalled 3.588 million, up 18.3% against the same date a year earlier, with growth driven by the continued uptake of the operator’s VoIP services; internet telephony connections numbered 3.228 million, up from 2.750 million. Broadband accesses meanwhile were 2.810 million, up 1.3% against end-December 2010.

South Korea, LG Uplus

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