Last week, SK Telecom, the Korean carrier launched its 150Mbps LTE-Advanced (LTE-A) network.
Samsung unveiled its Galaxy S4 LTE-Advanced smartphone that is compatible with the next generation of high-speed mobile networks. It is the first of the seven mobile devices expected to be launched in South Korea this year to support SK Telecom’s new network.
The Korea Times reports that Apple could release a new iPhone that supports LTE-A networks in the coming months.
“SK Telecom is approaching Apple to put our LTE-A technology on the upcoming iPhone 5S. We are in the middle of negotiations,” said an SK Telecom executive, requesting anonymity. [...]
Because Korea has recently seen a huge demand for devices supporting high-speed networks, Apple intends to use Korea as the litmus test to gauge the marketability of LTE-A technology before making inroads into China, according to industry sources.
LTE-A networks supports a theoretical maximum of up to 150Mbps, which is twice as fast as current LTE networks. The higher network speeds is achieved by combining multiple frequencies to boost bandwidth. SK Telecom aggregated two 10MHz component carriers to form an effective bandwidth of 20MHz to support 150Mbps. The technology can deliver a maximum of 100MHz effective bandwidth.
U.S. carriers such as Verizon, AT&T and Sprint are also planning to launch LTE-A networks. However, it remains to be seen if the next generation iPhone, unofficially dubbed iPhone 5S will support the high-speed LTE-A networks.
It seems a little hard to believe that Apple will support a technology that carriers haven’t even started deploying in the U.S. yet, especially when you consider that it finally added support for LTE networks only last year with the launch of the iPhone 5.