South Korean multi-service operator LG Uplus is said to be planning to cut its investment in tri-band LTE-Advanced (LTE-A) technology, according to the Korea Times. Such a decision has reportedly been made with a view to allowing the operator to offer other ‘enhancements’ to both existing and prospective customers. To that end, an unnamed official at LG Uplus was cited as saying: ‘LG Uplus earlier planned to build up the tri-band LTE-A across the country. However, this will heavily cost us. We believe very few customers could 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.’
As noted in TeleGeography’s GlobalComms Database, LG Uplus announced the inauguration of its LTE-A network in July 2013, with coverage of the capital Seoul, as well as a number of other unnamed ‘major’ cities, at launch. Having secured an additional 40MHz spectrum block in the 2.6GHz band in September 2013 at a cost of KRW479 billion (USD43 million), in January 2014 the cellco outlined plans to use these frequencies with its 20MHz in the 800MHz band and 20MHz in the 2100MHz band, saying that this ‘3band Carrier Aggregation’ technology marked the next progression from its LTE-A service. A commercial launch of the tri-band multicarrier system followed just a month later, a development which LG Uplus claimed made it the first to market with such a technology; the upgraded service was initially available in the capital Seoul and some Greater Seoul areas.