SK Telecom Korea has announced that it will be offering mobile internet speeds of up to 100 Mbps using a technology called Heterogeneous Network Integration Solution. The system works by combining existing networks — such as Wi-Fi and 3G or Wi-Fi and LTE — to provide a service that equals the sum of the two network speeds. SK Telecom hopes to enable a 60Mbps 3G / Wi-Fi network in the second quarter of this year, followed by 100Mbps LTE / Wi-Fi service in 2013. The first smartphone that supports the technology should come out this year, followed by an ambitious plan to support it on all phones launched by the company in 2013.
Although this looks like the first commercial implementation of combined networks, the speeds SK Telecom promises aren't out of range of what other companies have announced. Korean LTE can theoretically achieve 100Mbps speeds already; back in the USA, T-Mobile has discussed implementing an 86Mbps HSPA+ network, and Clearwire says it has reached 90Mbps at testing sites. However, this new solution has the unique advantage of distributing traffic over multiple networks, shifting some of the LTE and 3G burden onto Wi-Fi.