By Yoon Sung-won
Smartphone manufacturers such as Samsung and LG are preparing new handsets for the launch of a faster mobile network scheduled to start later this month, not long after they roll out their existing premium models.
The three local mobile carriers ― SK Telecom, LG Uplus and KT ― are expected to launch the "broadband long-term evolution advanced (LTE-A)" mobile network service, which can theoretically transmit 225 megabits per second, starting later this month.
The fastest LTE network as of now provides up to 150 megabits per second speed.
The introduction of the new mobile network service, which will be the first in the world, is likely to push smartphone manufacturers to release new handsets to support this technology around the same time.
Multiple mobile industry insiders said a new mobile network technology will embody its true meaning "only when handsets capable of using it become available in the market."
Currently, no handset available in the Korean market supports the broadband LTE-A technology.
Accordingly, smartphone makers are set to release an upgraded version of their products starting later this month to keep pace with the new technology.
Samsung Electronics is reportedly preparing for the latest model known as the "Galaxy S5 Prime," less than three months after rolling out its Galaxy S5 on March 27.
The new model, which is expected to come within this month, will have an ultra high-definition (UHD) display as well as a processor that supports the broadband LTE-A network, said an industry source.
LG Electronics is also arranging a new handset for the broadband LTE-A network, an upgrade to its latest G3 smartphone.
Earlier on May 27, Kim Jong-hoon, a product marketing division executive at LG Electronics hinted during a press conference for the launch of G3 that the company will come up with a new model by saying "the company plans to discuss with local mobile carriers to keep up with the launch of the new LTE network."
LG Electronics official told The Korea Times that "details of the new model such as timing of launch and price are not yet fixed and the firm will concentrate on the existing G3 for the moment."
Most of the latest models including Samsung Electronics' Galaxy S5 and LG Electronics' G3 are equipped with Qualcomm's mobile application processor Snap Dragon 801. But handsets need an improved processor such as the same company's Snap Dragon 805 for the new technology.
Meanwhile, a U.S. IT news media VentureBeat reported Thursday that Apple is likely to release an improved next-generation iPhone to support the transmission up to 300 megabits per second.
The new iPhone is expected to be released in the latter half of this year.