South Korea lauded for 5G approach - Mobile World Live

South Korea lauded for 5G approach

18 JUN 2019

LIVE FROM GLOBAL 5G EVENT, VALENCIA: Suncheol Gweon, vice chair of the 5G Forum advisory committee in South Korea (pictured), hailed government efforts to advance the technology, specifically because its approach has not been a money-making exercise.

The 5G spectrum auction processes in some parts of the world, such as Europe, has been criticised for costing operators billions.

However, Gweon observed South Korea’s government had committed to advancing public services and bridging a digital divide through the technology rather than simply trying “to make a profit”.

He also pointed to a government fund which matches investments made by operators in the technology across five sectors: 5G automotive initiatives; smart city projects; industrial applications; disaster safety services; and media experiences. 

South Korea, along with the US, was one of the first 5G movers, with the country’s operators launching the technology commercially during the first week of April.

The technology has proved popular so far. Within a few weeks of launch, the government said 260,000 subscribers had signed up to 5G services, with the figure said to have hit 1 million last week.

By the end of the year, Gweon said the number of 5G subscribers is expected to hit around 14 million, as deployments extend beyond the big cities.

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Kavit Majithia

Kavit joined Mobile World Live in May 2015 as Content Editor. He started his journalism career at the Press Association before joining Euromoney’s graduate scheme in April 2010. Read More >>

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