Korean wireless operator SK Telecom plans to be the first out of the gate with an LTE-Advanced network. According to ETNews, it’ll go live either in August or September. Now what good is a high speed network without phones that can use it, right? That’s where the interesting part of the story comes in. ETNews says both Samsung and LG will have devices out on the market in Q3 that use Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 800. Said chip supports LTE-Advanced.
What exactly is LTE-Advanced? That depends on which continent you live in and what definition you want to use. If you’re in America, LTE-Advanced means carrier aggregation. Think of it like this: If you’re an operator that has spectrum holdings in the 700 MHz, 850 MHz, and 1900 MHz bands, you want to figure out a way to let a phone use all those bands at the same time to get a faster download speed, right? That’s essentially AT&T’s and Verizon’s definition of LTE-Advanced.
On the other hand, the rest of the world thinks LTE-Advanced means carrier aggregation and a device capable of operating at Category 6 speeds. That means 300 megabits per second down and 50 megabits per second up. This new Korean network, it’ll use this definition of LTE-Advanced.
So in short, it isn’t going to be long until we see a new S4 you’ll likely never be able to import, and LG’s next flagship phone for the second half of this year.
Update: Changed source link to ETNews English instead of ETNews Korea.
Update: Reuters has confirmed that Samsung will release a GS4 that supports LTE-Advanced, but they didn’t say it’ll have a Snapdragon 800. If you connect the dots however, it’s a 99.9% certainty that this newer S4 will indeed Qualcomm’s flagship chip.