South Korean mobile carrier to allow Internet calls

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The Independent Tech

South Korea's top mobile phone carrier SK Telecom said Wednesday it would allow subscribers to make Internet calls over its cellular network.

Subscribers will be allowed to make phone calls using services from companies like Skype while they are connected to SK Telecom's 3G network, the company said in a statement.

Programmes like Skype allow users to make cheap calls through the Internet without paying charges based on voice minutes. Mobile carriers have limited such services for fear of losing profits.

Currently the use of mobile Internet phone calls is limited to Wi-Fi wireless networks.

SK Telecom also promised to create 15,000 Wi-Fi zones in South Korea by the end of this year, up 50 percent from its initial plan, to boost wireless data usage.

The company said it would launch the next-generation mobile network service known as LTE next year to meet rising demand for high-speed data.

LTE (Long-Term Evolution) is faster and more advanced than conventional third-generation mobile network technology.

The company raised its smartphone sales target for this year to 2.5 million from two million, and vowed to expand its range.

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