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KT, World’s First Commercial Wireless 1 Gbps (GiGA LTE = 3-band CA + GiGA WiFi)
July 31, 2015 | By Dr. Harrison J. Son (tech@netmanias.com)
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KT announced that it succeeded in commercialization of the world’s first wireless 1 Giga service, called “GiGA LTE". The service is known to have achieved speeds 15 times faster than the current LTE, through combining two heterogeneous networks: LTE and WiFi. Previously, the company has released “GiGA Internet” in October 2014, and “GiGA WiFi Home” in March 2015. Now with the launch of GiGA LTE, KT opened up a real wired and wireless Giga era indeed, allowing customers to enjoy Giga Internet service anywhere – at home, at work and on the go.
On June 15, KT held a press conference at its Kwanghwamoon office, and unveiled its new service “GiGA LTE” that integrates 3-band CA LTE and Giga WiFi networks. Mr. Sung-mok Oh, the head of Network Division at KT, noted, “GiGA LTE is a prerequisite to 5G communication, and we are proud to present it for the first time in the world, and also three years earlier than initially planned.” The service will be available for general customers starting June 16, he added.
The new service features Multi-Path TCP (MP-TCP), a technology co-developed by KT and Samsung since September 2014. By adding 3-band CA 300 Mbps and Giga WiFi 867 Mbps, the service is known to support up to 1.17Gbps, which is 4 times faster than conventional 3-band CA, and 15 times faster than current LTE. At this speed, you can download an 18 GB UHD movie in just 126 seconds. This is why GiGA LTE is deemed as a stepping stone to 5G era where 100 Gbps speeds are required. 


During the demonstration conducted using smartphones at the press conference, a maximum of 835 Mbps and an average of 600~700 Mbps speeds were supported. The service will be available on Samsung Galaxy S6 and S6 Edge models first, and can be used after firmware update starting June 16.
The service can be used only in places where both 3-band LTE-A and Giga WiFi equipment is installed. KT explained that, as of June 2015, it has over 200,000 LTE base stations and 140,000 Giga WiFi zones across the nation, securing the nation’s largest and widest ‘Giga LTE’ coverage.  
Mr. Oh pointed out, “Similar Multi-RAT Giga services from other operators can only be offered on one or two applications. But, ours allows users to enjoy ‘Giga LTE’ speeds, virtually on all applications, including mobile IPTV, SNS, game, etc.” He added, “What matters most in GiGA LTE is how wide Giga WiFi coverage can be provided. KT has the widest coverage in the nation.”
KT’s launch of GiGA LTE has triggered its competitors, SK Telecom and LG U+, to move. They plan to commercialize ‘Multi-path’ service that would also use LTE and WiFi networks concurrently. 




Lack of LTE frequency is a big concern for every operator. Especially, Korea lacks not only frequency, but also lacks knowledgeable law makers who can understand and handle efficient distribution of frequency between the communication and broadcasting industries. So, these precious frequencies have been just wasted, and no one knew who is getting how much and when.


Korean operators, tired of just waiting, attempted to seek a way to improve speeds themselves, for example, by combining unlicensed bands with WiFi. KT also has been working hard to develop a solution to combine LTE and WiFi for the past years, and has actually made some accomplishments, like ABC commercialized in 2013, IFOM that achieved 450 Mbps in 2014, LTE-H capable of 600Mbps demonstrated at the Mobile World Congress this year.


As a result of all these efforts, this June KT commercialized GiGA LTE service that supports 1.17Gbps using MP-TCP, for the first time in the world. The new service combines LTE (3-Band CA, 300Mbps) and Giga WiFi (802.11ac, 867Mbps) to achieve speeds of 1.17Gbps. Although it actually supports up to 700~800Mbps in real networks, it is still pretty much something that a wireless solution can offer giga-class speeds. 

Thank you for visiting Netmanias! Please leave your comment if you have a question or suggestion.

[HFR Private 5G: my5G]


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