The new 5G network is knocking at our doors, but South Korea is the first to open its doors to this technology. The country famous for creating popular Samsung products gets ahead of other countries like the United States, China and Japan. The first 5G mobile networks were launched last Friday.
After the 3G mobile network allowed consumers a general access to the web, the next big step was 4G allowing billions of users to connect to the internet on their phone. Today 5G is the network everyone wants to have access to. This new network is a real leap forward in terms of technological advances. According to Qualcomm, the famous American telecommunications company, it is considered as “world changing as the arrival of the automobile and electricity.”
5G offers a connection that is 20 times faster than other networks depending on the area. This revolution will allow new types of uses to develop such as an almost instantaneous access to information, driverless cars and telemedicine. As a result the lives of billions of people will be made easier.
Everyone wants to have this new super speed network but it is South Korea that gets the ball rolling. The hyper-wired country has long since made the roll out of 5G a top priority. This past Friday, the three main mobile phone networks in South Korea – KT, SK Telecom and LG UPlus – have started offering 5G on their services. None of the three South Korean network operators has yet reported on its level of investment, but the current Minister of Economy and Finance and Deputy Prime Minister of South Korea, Hong Nam-Ki, estimates these figures to be at least $ 2.6 billion. Remember this figure only counts this year.
Samsung Electronics have also launched their new Galaxy S10 5G, which is the first smartphone in the world that can use this technology. It will be followed by the V50 from the company’s rival LG in two weeks time. By the end of the year more than 3 million South Koreans will be using the 5G network. At least this is what the KT vice president Lee Pil-jae has predicted. Of course the price of the first 5G capable devices will pose as a barrier for many. For example the cheapest version of the new Galaxy device, will cost around 1.39 million won. This amounts to about 900 pounds sterling.
The arrival of 5G in South Korea is the first foot in the door. The American operating network Verizon predicts that they will be able to offer this latest network to their mobile users in Chicago and Minneapolis by next week. Around thirty other American cities should follow suit in next month. In Japan a limited access to this new network is also set to be available later this year. Unlimited 5G services will of course be available in time for the Tokyo Olympic Games in 2020.
In the UK, EE has stated that a 5G roll out is also set to take place later this year, first in the bigger cities across the country including London, Cardiff, Edinburgh, Belfast and Birmingham.