Status of South Korea 5G network (Part 2)

Ricky Tu, DIGITIMES Research, Taipei 0


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The 5G mmWave spectrum licenses awarded to South Korea's top three telecom operators were revoked in fourth-quarter 2022, resulting in no 5G mmWave smartphone being launched in South Korea.

There has not been any 5G mmWave smartphone launched in South Korea.

Samsung Electronics markets 5G mmWave smartphones only in the US and Japan. If the South Korea government cannot work out a plan to drive telecom operators' 5G mmWave base station deployment, smartphone makers will hesitate to offer 5G mmWave smartphones in South Korea. The situation is a vicious cycle.

In first-half 2023, South Korea's Fair Trade Commission imposed a total of KRW33.6 billion (US$25.5 million) in fines on the country's top three telecom operators for false advertisements about their 5G services. SK Telecom (SKT) received the largest penalty for exaggerating its 5G network speeds while Korea Telecom (KT) paid a bigger fine than LG U+ for running misleading ads for a longer period of time.

For a better understanding of the country's 5G services, the South Korea government conducted a survey on the three telecom operators' 5G network coverage and communication quality in October 2022. Not only did their coverage area increase more than 70% compared to a year ago, but communication quality indicators including the average transmission speed, fallback to LTE rate and linkup time also continued to improve.

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