Korean wireless service operator, SK Telecom Co. Ltd. (SKM - Analyst Report) announced its plans to ramp up LTE deployments last Thursday. The company is targeting speed of up to 300 Mbps across its network, representing an Advanced LTE network infrastructure. Although no timeline has been provided for this growth goal, the company said that it intends to provide up to 225 Mbps speed by 2014. We believe that the plan for ramping up LTE speed would help SK Telecom in providing better services to its customers, making it more popular among wireless users and improving its market share.
The news failed to stir positivity into the market and the share price of the company did not show significant movement.
The company currently provides LTE speed of up to 150 Mbps using 10 MHz of 1800-MHz spectrum and 10 MHz of 800-MHz spectrum. SK Telecom hadapproximately 84 cities under its LTE coverage as of July.
SK Telecom unveiled the world’s first LTE-Advanced (LTE-A) network that renders speed of up to 150 Mbps that is twice as fast as LTE and 10 times swifter than the 3G network. It expects to use additional 10 MHz of its 1800-MHz spectrum to bring speed of up to 225 Mbps by 2014.
Management has already commercialized the newly launched network across the Seoul region and the central cities of Gyeonggi-do and Chungcheong-do. SK Telecom hadapproximately 84 cities under its LTE coverage by July end.
Along with network expansion, the company is also offering an LTE-A friendly handset – Samsung Galaxy S4 LTE-A – and aims to introduce seven more smartphones during the later half of 2013. In an attempt to win customers, the company has kept the price range of LTE-A connection the same as LTE, thus enabling users to work on a faster network at a lower price. We believe that this advanced network will enhance the popularity of high quality broadcasting and video content as well as boost the customer service level.Moreover,the company has collaborated with Alcatel-Lucent to offer services like LTE-Advanced, LTE, WiBro (WiMAX), and Wi-Fi mobile data through its cell sites with the help of Alcatel-Lucent IP-based mobile backhaul network deployment. This deal will also help SKTelecomto improve its mobile IPTV service capabilities and enhance customer satisfaction through new mobile services.
SK Telecom currently has a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy).
Other stocks in this sector carrying a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy) include Ceragon Networks Ltd. (CRNT - Snapshot Report), ChinaUnicom (Hong Kong) Limited and KT Corp. (KT - Snapshot Report).