Korea’s SK Telecom has been on a roll coming up with groundbreaking services such as the first ever multi-carrier mobile service last month. Today, they make history again by launching the first HD voice over LTE service. Conveniently called the HD voice, the operator says that it features HD quality voice calls with reduced latency and connection times. New Samsung Galaxy S III LTE devices will get pre-loaded with the HD Voice while existing owners can get it by a firmware update. The operator also wants to keep its network costs similar to their 3G network so customers can still deal with the same billing rates as they have been. Despite this new launch, SK is not finished in terms of making breakthrough technology services as they hope to continue to evolve and diversify in the future.
Korea’s smartphone market is now at over 50% ownership. In other words, more than half of the country’s population has a smartphone with Apple’s iPhone and Samsung’s Galaxy S III. With that number continuing to rise, Korea’s mobile networks are more in pressure of continuing to stay going. More operators are coming up with mobile message services to stay toe to toe with SMS services. KakaoTalk remains as the top messaging service and it even has more downloads than Korea’s smartphone population with other services like NHN and Daum looming behind. Today’s HD Voice launch is going to be interesting on how the voice and message app market will shape up after some months. There are no announcements of the HD Voice or something similar being released at other countries outside of Korea, but it is a matter of time before some company here at the states come up with their own HD voice over LTE service for Android phones with 4G LTE. Of course you can not count out Apple as well if they something like this up their sleeve for their new iPhone 5, which is still rumored to be finally revealed early next month.
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