LIVE FROM APAC 5G LEADERS’ CxO SUMMIT, SEOUL: South Korea’s mobile operators launched 5G services for consumers less than two months ago but have already found usage patterns very different from LTE, with daily data consumption up more than threefold.

LG Uplus CTO Lee Sangmin (pictured) said 5G usage is averaging 1.3GB per day, up from 400MB with LTE.

New services featuring AR and VR functions already account for 20 per cent of 5G traffic, compared with just 5 per cent for LTE.

He acknowledged coverage is “far from perfect”, with plans to increase this to 90 per cent population coverage by the end of the year.

Lee suggested the pending release of foldable phones will help improve the user experience for services like 4K video. He noted that the increased use is draining handset batteries, so vendors will need to address power consumption issues.

KT CTO Jeon Hong-beom said its 5G data usage also was up at least threefold compare with 4G data traffic.

The operator installed 31,610 base stations nationwide.

SK Telecom CTO Park Jinhyo told Mobile World Live it’s too early to gauge the level of increased usage, noting it would have a clearer idea by the end of the year.