5G Rollout in Korea – The First 20 Days of 5G


Korea has launched the world’s first 5G network and commercial services for 5G on April 5, 2019. Surprisingly the number of 5G subscribers are increasing faster than had LTE in the initial stages. The growth rate of 5G subscribers may slow down as there are still many problems that need to be resolved. For example, 5G quality and link stability needs to be improved. In the early stage of commercialization, 64% of 5G infrastructure is concentrated in Seoul and its metropolitan areas. This constitutes around half of the population in Korea. The infrastructure is expected to be expanded at a rate similar to that of LTE back in 2011-12. The 5G service plan rates are anywhere between 8.5% to 18% more expensive than 4G LTE. The plan includes data and voice call usage as well as free access to 5G content and smart devices. The carriers are aiming to generate additional profits through average revenue per user (ARPU) improvement and 5G content activation.

Table of Contents:

  • Key Takeaways
  • 5G Preparation and Commercialization
    • Korea 5G Trial to Commercialization
    • 5G Service Coverage
    • 5G Tariff Comparison vs 4G LTE
    • 5G Subscription Forecast
    • 5G Smartphone Shipments Forecast
    • 5G Smartphone Devices
  • Marketing activities and promotions
    • 5G Subsidies
    • Government Support Plans for 5G
    • Marketing and Partnerships of Carriers/OEMs
  • Issues and Actions at an Early Stage of 5G
  • 5G Services/Contents
    • Carriers’ Services/Contents for 5G Smartphone
    • Future Industrial Uses

Author: Sujeong Lim
Number of Pages: 33
Published Date: May 2019



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