Apple is in talks with SK Telecom, a South Korean wireless player, to launch an iPhone that supports the much faster LTE-A (LTE-Advanced) data network. The handset could be unveiled within a few months, the Korean Times reports (via iMore).
“SK Telecom is approaching Apple to put our LTE-A technology on the upcoming iPhone 5S. We are in the middle of negotiations,” said an SK Telecom executive, requesting anonymity.
The SK Group affiliate said it plans to have as many as seven LTE-A devices available by the end of the year. LTE-A enables customers to use the next iPhone to download data at a speed of 150Mbps, twice as fast as its predecessor.
Because Korea has recently seen a huge demand for devices supporting high-speed networks, Apple intends to use Korea as the litmus test to gauge the marketability of LTE-A technology before making inroads into China, according to industry sources.
This new technology recently adapted by the South Korean carrier offers customers a download speed of 150 Mbps which is twice as fast as its predecessor. The Korean market has a huge demand for devices connecting to high-speed networks, and SK Telecom plans to have several LTE-A devices enabled by the end of the year.
The first LTE-A device is a Samsung handset, with KT and LG Uplus ready to connect to the advanced wireless network of the carrier.