South Korea Becomes The First Country To Roll Out 5G Services
5G services were launched in South Korea just 2 hours earlier than in the US.
South Korea has become the world's first country to roll out nationwide 5G mobile services. The super-fast wireless technology has been launched two days earlier than the scheduled time. The service started by SK Telecom, KT, and LG Uplus began their 5G rollout at 11 pm local time on April 3rd. The services were expected to be launched on April 5.
A report by Yonhap news agency mentioned that South Korea was forced to organise the launch event hastily (late-night) on April 3rd as US mobile carrier Verizon started rolling out 5G services a week before its scheduled launch. Verizon began rolling out its 5G services in Chicago and Minneapolis on April 3 (US time), a week ahead of schedule. But according to Yonhap, the South Korean launch took place two hours earlier.
Both KT and LG Uplus said they also went live at the same time.
The service will be available for the general public in South Korea on April 5, the earlier scheduled time. Samsung is also going to roll out the Galaxy S10 5G, the world’s first smartphone to use the technology. While in the US, 5G services launched by Verizon’s system will work with Lenovo’s Moto Z3 smartphone. Also, rival US carrier AT&T deployed what it called its 5G E network in 12 cities last year—although it is slower than other 5G systems and questions have been raised over whether it is fully fifth-generation.
“SK Telecom today announced that it has activated 5G services for six celebrities representing Korea as of 11 pm April 3, 2019,” the country’s biggest mobile operator said in a news release April 4. The celebrities, including two members of K-pop band EXO and Olympic ice-skating hero Kim Yu-na —were “the world’s first 5G smartphone subscribers”,.
Experts say that 5G will give smartphones near-instantaneous connectivity—20 times faster than 4G—allowing users to download entire movies in less than a second.
The technology is crucial for the future development of devices such as self-driving vehicles and is expected to add about $565 billion in global economic benefits by 2034, according to the London-based Global System for Mobile Communications, an industry alliance.