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Who wins the bragging rights? 5G launch in S. Korea, U.S. sparks debate Updated: 2019-04-05 07:00:41 KST


Korea is now the first country in the world to have 5G mobile subscribers.
The nation's three major mobile carriers - SK Telecom, KT and LG Uplus - launched the super-fast mobile network at 11p.m. on Wednesday, Korea standard time


"I am normally quick-tempered and enjoy a fast pace of life so I'm thrilled to be one of the first to experience this whole new, faster world."

Korea's launch was two hours ahead of U.S. carrier Verizon, which introduced 5G to two cities.
The race was tight, with telecom firms from both sides moving up their launch dates to claim the "world's first" title.
However, with access to 5G currently limited, the real question is who gets the bragging rights.
In Korea, the network's nationwide launch for the general Korean public will take place on Friday, with the simultaneous unveiling of Samsung's 5G handset, as well as 5G optimised services like video streaming apps.
Meanwhile, Verizon's coverage is restricted to certain parts of Chicago and Minneapolis, and the available Motorola handset needs a separate add-on module to enable 5G.

(Korean- )
"5G service is based on three aspects: an optimized handset, infrastructure -- the network of base stations for instance, and media content. In that sense, Verizon offers a very partial, "4.5G service," with the Motorola handset. Even if it had launched its new services earlier than Korean carriers, Korea should be credited with launching genuine 5G services for the first time in the world."

Also, Korea's mobile network will run 20 times faster than LTE, at 2.7gigabytes per second, while Verizon is offering typical 4G speed, which could peak up to 1gigabypte per second.
But rolling out the services first is only a symbolic victory, according to experts.
What's more important is providing quality services.

(Korean- )
"Think of a motorway that has stretched from four to 16 lanes. The hardware is there but what about the cars that can drive along the roads? Korean and U.S. mobile firms are both lacking sufficient 5G optimized content and services to offer their users."

To help enhance user experience and enjoy the super-fast network at its fullest, Korean telecom companies are unveiling video-streaming features for sports and entertainment and launching services such as a 5G robot restaurant.
Oh Sooyoung, Arirang News.
Reporter : osy@arirang.com
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