Korea launches 5G smartphone networks ahead of schedule

S. Korea launches 5G networks 2 days earlier than announced to beat US, China
South Korea's 5G goes live earlier than scheduled to claim 'world's first' title

07 April, 2019

SK Telecom, KT, and LG Uplus began their 5G services at 11pm local time on Wednesday, two days ahead of scheduled date of April 5 in order to beat their U.S. counterparts.

It has data transmission speeds 20 times faster than the current 4G long-term evolution (LTE) wireless technology.

Commercializing 5G also gives Asia's fourth-largest economy the opportunity to build around the technology, which promises speeds dozens of times faster than earlier generations. The ministry got the information that Verizon would move up the launch of its commercial 5G services to April 4. According to Yonhap news agency, Verizon had planned its 5G network launch for April 11. In the United States, meanwhile, Verizon has claimed a world first by launching in parts of Chicago and Minneapolis on Wednesday, a week earlier than planned, also with a single device - a 5G clip-on module for its Motorola z3 smartphone, available to prospective customers.

The technology is crucial for the future development of devices such as self-driving vehicles and is expected to bring about $565 billion in global economic benefits by 2034, according to the London-based Global System for Mobile Communications, an industry alliance.

To date, SK Telecom has 27 million subscribers. Rather than getting bogged down in the arguments back and forth (fun though that is), focus on the main takeaway: 5G services are starting to launch.

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Chinese entities own a total of 3,400 5G patents - more than a third of the total, according to data analysis firm IPlytics - with 1,529 of those registered by Huawei.

As we all know, Samsung is a South Korean based hardware manufacturer and therefore, it should come as no surprise that the company's biggest fan base is in South Korea. Neither KT nor SK Telecom use Huawei technology in their 5G networks, but it is a supplier to LG UPlus, the companies said. The service, however, was made available to mobile hotspot devices but is not yet on smartphones.

Meanwhile in the US, Verizon is offering the Moto Z3 with a 5G Moto Mod.

US telco AT&T Inc said it was the first to launch a "commercial and standards-based" 5G network in December 2018.

"South Korea is preparing to become the first country in the world, which will launch a super fast mobile Internet 5G", - stated in the message.

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