SK Telecom (SKT) declared itself the 5G king of South Korea after signing up more than half a million subscribers to the service in just under three months.
In its Q2 earnings statement, SKT said it ended the quarter with 503,000 users, giving it the “largest 5G market share” in the country. This contributed to a 1 per cent rise in total mobile subscribers year-on-year to 31 million at end-June (including MVNO and other connections).
However, SKT’s 5G success appeared to be a double-edged sword, bringing with it higher marketing expenses and costs associated with licensing fees which dragged on operating income at its mobile communications business.
The operator continued to build its 5G offer following the close of the quarter, penning a roaming deal with Swisscom and launching three AR and VR services using the technology in July. During the remainder of the year, it plans to build “multiple 5G clusters” in major areas of the country, offering “premium network quality and innovative services”, moves it expects will take its total users beyond 2 million by end-December.
SKT said 5G had a positive sequential impact on mobile revenue during Q2, though the KRW2.44 trillion ($2 billion) generated was down 2.5 per cent year-on-year.
At group level, net profit fell 71.7 per cent to KRW259.1 billion due to a “lower equity method income on SK Hynix”, while revenue grew 6.8 per cent to KRW4.4 trillion.Subscribe to our daily newsletter Back