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S. Korea develops world's first 4G mobile system

All Headlines 11:00 January 25, 2011

SEOUL, Jan. 25 (Yonhap) -- South Korea has successfully developed the world's first fourth-generation (4G) mobile telecommunication system that can transmit data 40 times faster than the current 3G wireless network, the government said Tuesday.

The Ministry of Knowledge Economy said the state-run Electronics and Telecommunications Research Institute (ETRI) has succeeded in trying out an operational Long Term Evolution-Advanced (LTE-Advanced) system outside of laboratory conditions.

The system allows users to view high-definition, three-dimensional TV images while in a car moving 40 kilometers per hour and transmit 600 megabits of data per second (Mbps), which enables a regular 700 megabyte CD to be downloaded in 9.3 seconds. It is also six times faster than the LTE, or 3.9 generation, system that Seoul plans to set up in July.

"All components including wireless communications, network and data transfer and signal control systems were developed locally without outside help," Jeong Marn-ki, head of the ministry's information technology industry office said.

The technology acquired meets 95 percent of the requirements needed for a functional 4G mobile communications system, he said, adding technologies not yet developed must wait for the creation of a worldwide standard on 4G telecommunications that is expected to be set by the International Telecommunication Union in April.

Compared to some other countries, South Korea was slow in establishing a nationwide 3.9G LTE system, but it will probably be an early adopter of the 4G LTE-Advanced that could start local commercial service around 2015, the official said.

ETRI said that it has acquired 24 patents related to LTE-Advanced and has applied for intellectual property protection on 500 processes learned during the research and development stage.

South Korean companies may hold least 23 percent of all patent rights on 4G communications technology, up from 19 percent for 3.9G and 10 percent for 3G wideband code division multiple access, it added.

yonngong@yna.co.kr
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