South Korean operator SK Telecom set out goals to advance coverage and availability of its 5G network, as it approaches the first anniversary of the launch of commercial services.

SKT and rivals KT and LG Uplus simultaneously introduced 5G services in early April 2019. Based on figures from the Korean Ministry of Science and ICT, the operator closed 2019 with 2.22 million 5G subs, giving it a 44.7 per cent market share.

In a statement, the company said it is targetting providing indoor coverage for a total of 2,000 venues, with small and medium-sized buildings added to the more regular roster of airports, department stores and large shopping centres.

The operator will build 12 5G mobile edge computing centres across in preparation for the launch of a nationwide edge cloud service by partnering with Amazon Web Services and Microsoft.

SKT also is preparing to deploy a private 5G network at SK Hynix’s semiconductor manufacturing plant to enable smart factory applications and is cooperating with Korea Hydro & Nuclear Power on a real-time drone monitoring system for dams.

By end-February, the operator said the new subscribers used seven-times more VR services, 3.6-times more video steaming services and 2.7-times more game apps than LTE customers.

Total 5G data consumption reached an average of 62,000TB per month in the period from December to February, with monthly usage per customer who switched devices increasing from 14.5GB (LTE) to 28.5GB (5G).