Mobile network operator SK Telecom plans to set the airwaves above its corner of the Pacific Rim ablaze with its latest announcement, heterogeneous wireless networks. Leveraging a combination of 3G, LTE and WiFi, the company is promising to deliver wireless speeds of up to 100Mbps to its customers. The network technology, which SK states is the "first of its kind," can provide downlink speeds that are equivalent to the sum of two independent networks. The carrier will be rolling out the 3G and WiFi portion of this network mashup (60Mbps theoretical maximum) during the second half of 2012, with LTE and WiFi (100Mbps theoretical maximum) coming in 2013. A new handset is -- unfortunately -- required to leverage this new bit-smashing technology, but SK Telecom has said it will include heterogeneous network compatibility in all handsets launching in 2013. Hopefully this is one of those things that will not take its time crossing the Pacific and landing Stateside. The full press release is awaiting your scrutiny after the break.

[Thanks, Deepa; image credit: SeongJoon Cho, Bloomberg]
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SK Telecom Opens an Era of 100 Mbps Wireless Data Speeds with Heterogeneous Networks

SK Telecom (NYSE:SKM) today announced the successful development of Heterogeneous Network Integration Solution, an innovative technology that enables simultaneous use of different types of networks including 3G, LTE and Wi-Fi to ensure up to 100 Mbps high-speed data service.

The technology, first of its kind in the world, is capable of seamlessly integrating two heterogeneous networks – i.e. 3G and Wi-Fi, or LTE and Wi-Fi – to provide a data service, the speed of which is the sum of two network speeds.

Developing a technology that allows simultaneous use of two networks of different technology specification and frequency band have long been an interest of mobile carriers as they face limited radio resources. SK Telecom marks the first in the world to independently develop the core technology.

For instance, for high-quality video streaming service users, Heterogeneous Network Integration Solution will reduce video loading time by more than 50% and eliminate buffering during video streams. Moreover, customers will gain Wi-Fi access automatically upon entering a Wi-Fi zone, which removes the need for them to search for Wi-Fi availability at each and every location.

SK Telecom plans to apply this solution to enable simultaneous use of 3G and Wi-Fi networks in the second quarter of 2012 to realize a theoretical maximum speed of 60 Mbps service and begin LTE and Wi-Fi integrated service in 2013 to offer a 100 Mbps ultra-high speed wireless Internet service.

To this end, SK Telecom plans to launch the world's first smartphone based on this solution during this year, and expects to apply the technology to all handsets to be launched in 2013, after conducting an analysis of consumer response and data distribution effect.

The company has already developed many handset and server related technologies. It applied for patents for its 61 independently-developed technologies in Korea and is currently filing for patents in other countries. In addition, SK Telecom will push for standardization of Heterogeneous Network Integration Solution through world-renowned international organizations in the field of mobile telecommunications like 3rd Generation Partnership Project (3GPP) and Telecommunication Standardization Sector of the International Telecommunications Union (ITU-T), while displaying it at the Mobile World Congress 2012, to be held in February, to highlight its leadership in next-generation network technology.

Furthermore, SK Telecom expects that the solution will help improve the overall 3G data communication environment for users as it resolves data traffic issues of 3G and LTE networks by increasing the use of Wi-Fi networks.

Byun Jae-Woan, CTO of SK Telecom said, "SK Telecom will provide customers with a data service of much greater speed with Heterogeneous Network Integration Solution, which represents one of the company's world's top-level network operation technologies. By realizing the speed of fixed-line services with wireless networks, SK Telecom will allow its customers to experience a new and innovative mobile life"

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SK Telecom announces heterogeneous wireless technology, 100Mbps from your current networks