By Lee Youkyung
SEOUL, Dec. 29 — Mobile industry players are poised to showcase a new generation of wireless technologies called fourth generation (4G) at a U.S. trade show next week, industry sources said Wednesday, as the current generation of wireless networks is bursting at the seams with data-gobbling smartphone users.
During the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas, South Korean mobile phone makers are planning to display a string of new cell phones that are compatible with the 4G wireless technology, already in service by major U.S. carriers including Verizon Wireless, Sprint Nextel and MetroPCS Communications Inc.
Samsung, which supplied the world's first 4G cell phone that uses a technology called long term evolution (LTE), is scheduled to unveil a full lineup of mobile devices that support LTE and other gadgets that use a technology called high speed packet access (HSPA), a company official said.
The company aims to use the year's first international industry exhibition to promote its LTE technology, as it is the only company around the world with LTE equipment, systems and technology solutions.
LG Electronics Inc., the world's third-largest cell phone maker after Nokia Corp. and Samsung, also plans to showcase an Android-based smartphone that supports LTE technology.
Stakes are high among mobile phone makers and wireless operators to get a head start on 4G wireless service, which guarantees data transfer as much as 10 times faster than the current 3G service, as the demand for wireless data is expected to surge about 1,000-fold by 2015 from this year, according to Lee Suk-chae, chairman of South Korea's telecom titan KT Corp.
Verizon and other U.S. wireless carriers are expected to visit the CES next week to lure consumers to the emerging wireless technology that will be widely in service in the U.S. next year.
"As the spread of smartphones, tablet PCs and other advanced mobile gadgets has fueled mobile Internet data, 4G is quickly gaining traction," said an industry watcher. "Taking the lead in the 4G market will either make or break the fortunes of global companies." (PNA/Yonhap) LOR/ebp