South Korea now has 15million mobile users on 5G networks. According to data from the Ministry of Science and ICT, this accounts for 21.25 percent of the total 71.27 million mobile subscriptions in the country.
SK Telecom remains the mobile service provider with the most 5G subscribers with a staggering amount of 7 million subscribers. The top mobile carrier is followed by KT Corp, which has 4.6 million subscribers, and LG Uplus, which has 3.47 million subscribers.
The proliferation of new 5G devices, such as Samsung’s flagship Galaxy S21 series, is a major reason why the number of 5G subscribers has been on the increase. Fifth-generation smartphones no longer cost an arm and a leg, facilitating user migration from previous generation networks.
To provide 5G services, South Korean telecom operators; SK Telecom, KT corporation and LG Upus make use of Nonstandalone 5G networks that rely on previous 4G LTE networks.
Last year July, the country’s three major operators agreed to invest a total of KRW 25.7 trillion ($22 billion) through 2022 to boost 5G infrastructure across the country.
Criticism has been thrown at the 5G services being provided despite the rapid progress in 5G deployments. Subscribers have alleged that the quality of the 5G services is poor. Recently, about 1,000 5G smartphone users in South Korea have expressed interest in taking legal action against the country’s three major telecom operators due to the alleged poor quality of the service.
The latest figure indicates a reduction in the speed of 5G user growth. The country added around 671,000 5G subscriptions during April, compared with a net addition of over 1 million 5G users at the beginning of the year.
Fifth-generation networks are available mostly in large cities and Telecom operators continue to race to acquire more users on the latest generation networks. It has only been three years since the 5G network launched in South Korea. 5G network was launched in South Korea in April 2019, making it the first country to adopt the network on a large scale.
South Korea remains the most advanced country for 5G adoption. The country also enjoys one of the fastest internet speeds in the world.