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IN : 5G commercial launch

South Korea wins final sprint for 5G

The three major national operators, SK Telecom, LG UPlus and KT had announced the launch of the 5G service for April 3, 2019

South Korea is the first country to offer 5G service nationwide. The three major national operators, SK Telecom, LG UPlus and KT had announced the launch of the 5G service for April 5 but it debuted at 11 pm on April 3. This was due to the speculation that the US Verizon could launch its own 5G services earlier than expected. Verizon Communications launched its own 5G service in the hours following the Korean operators in parts of Chicago and Minneapolis.

Samsung Electronics will launch its new Galaxy S10 5G, the first smartphone in the world using 5G technology on April 5. It will be followed by the V50, signed rival LG, two weeks later. The cheapest version of the new Galaxy device, for example, will sell for over 1,000 euros.

According to a press release, SK Telecom has an unmatched 5G network competitiveness in the world. The company has rolled out its 5G network in data traffic-concentrated areas, including main areas of 85 cities nationwide (Seoul, six metropolitan cities, etc.), university districts, KTX, sports stadiums, expressways, subway lines (Seoul and Seoul Metropolitan Area) and beaches. SK Telecom has deployed 34,000 5G base stations around the country and will expand 5G network coverage to nationwide subways, national parks and festival sites in the second half of 2019. They are also expanding indoor coverage in 120 department stores, shopping malls and airports throughout the country through the application of its self-developed “Total In-building Solution”.  With the development and application of 4G-5G dual connectivity technology, SK Telecom’s 5G network supports up to 2.7Gbps data transmission speed. The company has secured the network by applying quantum cryptography technologies to eliminate the risk of hacking and eavesdropping.

SK Telecom has introduced four 5GX price plans. The “5GX Slim” package offers 8GB of data (1Mbps speed after data cap) at 43 euros per month and “5GX Standard” comes with 150GB of data (5Mbps after data cap) at 59 euros per month. Those who subscribe to “5GX Prime” or “5GX Platinum” until the end of June 2019 will be able to use unlimited data without speed restrictions at 70 euros and 98 euros per month, respectively, until the end of December 2019. Without this promotion, “5GX Prime” will offer 200GB of data at 74 euros per month, and “5GX Platinum” will provide 300 GB of data at 98 euros per month. SK Telecom plans to update its price plans after analyzing the data usage patterns of subscribers of unlimited plans.

LG Uplus is offering three 5G packages with smaller data plans. It is offering 9GB for 43 euros per month, 150GB for 59 euros per month, and 250GB for 74 euros per month. LG Uplus is also offering promotional deals to subscribers, including VR headsets, smartphone insurance vouchers for the S10 5G, and a subscription to YouTube’s premium service.

KT has introduced a basic package with 5GB of data for 63 euros per month, which is less expensive than the current 4G plan for 5GB. The standard plan includes 50GB for 78 euros per month, and the premium package offers 100GB for 103 euros per month. KT also is offering a 360-degree media service, e-sports and music content to subscribers, as well as gifts such as home appliance products and mobile gift coupons.

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