South Korean operator SK Telecom has commercialized five-band carrier aggregation (CA) and 4X4 MIMO LTE-A Pro technologies, supporting up to 700Mbps data rates. According to SK, the five-band CA LTE-A Pro service covers 53 cities in Korea to start, including Seoul, Busan and Daegu. SK Telecom uses 10MHz bandwidth in the 800MHz band, 20MHz in the 1.8GHz band, 10MHz in the 2.1GHz band, and 10MHz + 20 MHz bandwidth in the 2.6GHz band for the service. SK also announced the launch of its 900Mbps LTE-A Pro service by combining three-/four-band CA and 4X4 MIMO. The 900Mbps LTE-A Pro service covers the main areas of six major cities, namely Seoul, Busan, Daegu, Gwangju, Daejeon and Ulsan.
By combining five-band CA or four-band CA with other LTE-A Pro technologies such as 4X4 MIMO, SK Telecom plans to launch 1 Gbps LTE-A Pro service in the first half of 2018. To this end, the company is applying key LTE-A Pro technologies, including five-band CA, 4X4 MIMO, and 256 QAM, to its base stations nationwide.