LIVE FROM MOBILE 360 DIGITAL SOCIETIES, KUALA LUMPUR: South Korean operator KT highlighted the boost 5G had deliverd to its business, with average monthly data usage more than double that experienced on its 4G network and peak download rates hitting 1.6GB/s.
Shin Sohee, SVP of KT’s global business unit and global alliance division (pictured), explained uptake of 5G service is faster than when it launched LTE, with 82 per cent of new subscribers opting for its Super Plan priced at about $80 per month, which is helping to boost ARPU.
She also highlighted some initial difficulties with the new technology, stating its call drop rate soared after it launched 5G in early April, taking between four and five weeks to stabilise. Since mid-May the figure has hovered just above that of LTE. Its peak 4G speed is 0.9Gb/s
With 62,521 5G base stations across the country, the operator offers full coverage of six cities, along with availability in large parts of a further 85. It plans to extend access to all major metropolitan areas by end-2019, reaching 90 per cent of the population, and is working towards nationwide coverage using the 26GHz band, though no date was given for the latter move.
KT, the second largest mobile player in South Korea, said it surpassed 1 million 5G subscribers on 21 September.
Shin noted its 5G Open Lab functions as a hub where cross-industry partners can work together to accelerate commercial availability of new services.
It deployed eight mobile edge centres to be able to deliver ultra-low latency services (less than 10 milliseconds) anywhere in Korea, to support VR and autonomous vehicle applications.
She said the company aims to migrate from non-standalone to standalone in 2020 though a software upgrade.Subscribe to our daily newsletter Back