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SK Telecom wins the Right to establish World’s First LTE-R Business
07/14/2015 | By An, Hochun (hcan@etnews.com)

Busan won the right to start ‘Busan Number 1 Line Subway Wireless Facility Purchase and Installment’ business that received attention as world’s first LTE-R. SK Telecom can occupy advantageous position in expansion of LTE-R throughout Korea and foreign LTE-R businesses and Public Safety-LTE business.

Busan Transportation Corporation announced on the 13th that it has selected SK Telecom as the preferred negotiable subject after examining proposals from 4 consortiums. Although another consortium received superiority in evaluation for technologies that took place on the 10th, it is heard that SK Telecom received the overall number 1 place after evaluation for prices that took happen on the 13th. 

Completion date for expanding Busan Number 1 Line Subway’s section will be end of 2016, and it will open in first half of 2017. SK Telecom will establish LTE-R-based combined wireless network in all of Number 1 Line’s sections (41 km) including extended sections by November of 2016. Previous old network that is being used by engineers, station employees, and main control room is going to be replaced by LTE-R-based communication network. It is going to develop its own walkie-talkie.

Director Kwon Song of SK Telecom’s Company Solution Department said that it will be successful in Busan Subway business by concentrating all of its abilities. He also said that it will do its best so that this business can be a successful model for world’s first LTE-R.


Other than SK Telecom, Samsung SDS-KT Consortium, Icontrols-LG Uplus Consortium, and Hyundai Information Technology competed in this business. Competition for pride between mobile communication companies that showed their rightfulness to establish new mobile communication technology and IT service companies that have long experience in railroad field was very fierce.


LTE-R is world’s first LTE-based railroad wireless network that had Korea Railroad Research Institute playing a key role and its standardization in Korea was finished in last October. It localized Korean railroad communication network, which has tendency to use foreign technology, and is receiving much attention for using economically feasible communication method that is optimized for Korea’s circumstances.

It has very fast mobility and it is possible to use data communication such as video calling. All of functions that are necessary for railroad communication including group-calling and emergency-calling were implemented. It will be used as train control system-based technology that will be installed all of Korea hereafter. It is predicted that there will be follow-up businesses as Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, and Transport is planning to replace all of Korea’s 4800 km railroad section to LTE-R.

It is simple to connect to Public Safety-LTE because it especially accommodates most of PS-LTE’s 37 requirements, and this is why this business is called prelude of PS-LTE. Europe is pushing to develop previous LTE-R so that it can commercialize it in 2020, and export can be expected as well.

Busan Transportation Corporation used Very High Frequency (VHF) wireless communication network for nearly 30 years. Although there were many demands to replace them due to aging system, it could not easily decide to start this business due to overlapping of investment with PS-LTE. When PS-LTE technology was decided as LTE last year, it started preparing in end of 2014 and announced its standards in last April.

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