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Ericsson and LG U+ announce Korean LTE network deal

Bharti is offloading its tower assets

Ericsson, the Swedish telecommunications giant, has announced a deal with Korean wireless service provider LG U+ to create a commercial LTE network. The agreement, made via Ericsson’s local Korean arm, LG-Ericsson, will enable LG U+ to operate existing CDMA services concurrently with new LTE services. The aim is then to transition fully to LTE as the network is rolled out.

Ericsson will supply an Evolved Packet Core network, LTE base stations and optical repeaters for the service, which will operate in the capital Seoul, covering a population of 25 million people. The project will begin in May with commercial service starting in July 2011, and it is expected to be completed during 2012.

Services will initially be accessible via a dongle and later via LTE-dedicated handsets. The company said it expected performance to be six times faster than current 3G services and offer enhanced quality of service.

Ericsson has successfully introduced the world’s first LTE commercial service and accumulated unrivalled technology, experience and know-how,” said Mats Holsson, head of region China and North East Asia, in a statement. “We are embarking a vital project for the future of LG U+. We will not only bolster our partnership with LG U+ but also contribute to the LTE development in Korea.”

Ericsson is a Gold Sponsor of the LTE World Summit 2011, due to take place next week in Amsterdam between 17-18th May.

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