Operators in South Korea targeted launch of 5G over mmWave frequencies to industry by the end of this year, The Korea Herald reported, though cost of delivery remains a stumbling block for the consumer sector.
The newspaper’s sources noted early use cases for the country’s second wave of 5G was likely to be in smart factories, with consumer services unlikely to hit the market until 2021 or even 2022 due to the cost of installing the required number of additional base stations.
Current commercial 5G services in the country use mid-band (3.5GHz) spectrum, providing lower peak speeds but wider propagation than mmWave frequencies.
The comments come less than a week after the country’s network vendor Samsung talked-up the prospects for 5G over mmWave following a number of trials at its facility.
Authorities and operators in South Korea have been among the most vocal supporters of 5G, having provided early demonstrations of applications of the technology at the Pyeongchang Winter Olympics in February 2018 and been one of the first countries to commercially launch the technology last year.
At the country’s spectrum auction in 2018 its three operators were also awarded assets in the 28GHz band, which will support mmWave 5G, though as of yet none have formally launched services using this spectrum.
As in Korea, the majority of 5G launches across the world use mid-band frequency, providing what the GSMA defines as a good mixture of coverage and capacity. However, while mmWave frequencies provide higher peak speeds, they suffer from greater coverage limitations.
The GSMA and other industry bodies promote the deployment of 5G using a combination of compatible frequencies in both ranges.Subscribe to our daily newsletter Back