LIVE FROM GLOBAL 5G EVENT, TOKYO: South Korea plans to complete deployment of a commercial 5G network in the second half of 2019 and is targeting 5 per cent 5G penetration in 2020.
Speaking at the event yesterday, Heo Won-seok, director of ICT and Broadcasting Technology Policy at South Korea’s Ministry of Science, ICT and Future Planning (pictured), said based on LTE uptake rates, the government forecasts 5G users will account for 30 per cent of total mobile subscribers in 2021, 50 per cent in 2022 and 90 per cent in 2026.
Heo said the ministry plans to allocate spectrum in 2019 to prepare for a commercial 5G launch, which he said will be the world’s first commercial 5G service.
With the long-stated goal of having a trial 5G service running in 2018 for the Winter Olympics using pre-standardised technologies, he said the country’s operators will start to build a trial network in PyeongChang and Seoul in the second half of this year.
The government also plans to have autonomous buses in operation for the event, which take place in early 2018.
KT, the country’s second largest mobile operator, said in early May it is in the final stages of testing a new pre-standard 5G trial network.
The global industry consensus is to bring 5G to the market in 2020, with Phase 1 standardisation of the technology due for completion sometime in 2018.