5G subscriptions in South Korea have already reached 260,000, local press reported, citing data from the government.
The country’s three carriers launched commercial 5G services on April 3.
The government said that users are complaining about the coverage and the speed of the next-generation wireless communication system, as the operators are still building 5G base stations and upgrading software to fix technical flaws and improve network efficiency.
“Many of the initial
complaints raised by consumers are being addressed, but with more people using
the system, other problems are expected to come to light that will require
fixing,” the Ministry of Science and ICT said.
The ICT ministry said the number of 5G base stations reached 54,202 this week, an increase of 3,690 from April 22.
5G coverage in Korea is restricted to urban areas and places where there are a large number of people.
three Korean carriers had launched limited 5G commercial services in December 2018 as part of an
agreement with the ICT ministry to launch simultaneously to avoid excessive
competition. The three mobile carriers initially launched the 5G service in
limited areas in Seoul
June 2018, South Korea completed a tender process through which it awarded spectrum in both the 3.5
GHz and 28 GHz bands. The government made available a total of 280 megahertz in
the 3.5 GHz spectrum band and 2,400 megahertz in the 28 GHz band. The spectrum
was divided into 28 blocks and 24 blocks.
SK Telecom, KT, and LG Uplus had a 10-block cap per spectrum band. The telcos
paid a total of 3.6183 trillion won ($3.3 billion) for the spectrum, 340
billion won higher than the starting price of 3.3 trillion won.
The 3.5 GHz band licenses covering a ten-year period
and the 28 GHz band licenses a five-year term.
Samsung looks to secure contracts for its 5G chipsets in the U.S, China
South Korean giant Samsung
Electronics is seeing an increasing demand for its 5G chpsets, the company’s Senior VP, Semiconductor Business System
LSI, Ben Hur, told a conference call with investors.
“Demand for 5G
chipsets solutions is also expected to rise on the back of increasing sales of
the 5G enabled smartphone. In this quarter, we will seek to secure new multiple
customers in the U.S. and China for 5G chipset solutions and commercialize them
in a timely manner. We also concentrate on developing the next 5G chipset
solution by integrating an application processor and 5G modem into one single
chip,” the executive said.
“Looking ahead, we plan to expand our line-up of 5G
chipset solutions in imaging sensors to address the demand for high specs in
the smartphone market and we will also expand our mid to long term business
scope by diversifying our product offering through the development of the 3D
sensors and automotive IoT chips.”