More than 6 million South Koreans were subscribed to 5G mobile networks as of April, a year after the country adopted the service, according to government data reported Monday, June 1st. The number of 5G users in the nation reached 6.34 million as of the end of April, up 7.8 percent from a month earlier, according to the data compiled by the Ministry of Science and ICT.
South Korea’s three carriers — SK Telecom Co., KT Corp. and LG Uplus Corp. — rolled out the commercial 5G network last April and have aggressively promoted their new service for premium smartphones.
SK Telecom’s 5G customers accounted for 45 percent as of April, trailed by KT with 30.3 percent and LG Uplus with 24.7 percent, the ministry said.
The number of mobile subscribers between 2G and 5G came to 69.35 million as of the end of April, the ministry said.
In May, South Korean operator KT added 360,000 5G subscribers in the first quarter of the year, the telco said in its earnings statement. KT, which launched commercial 5G services in April 2019, ended Q1 with a total of 1.78 million 5G customers.
“Since the launch of KT’s 5G services, we are currently maintaining a much higher market share in 5G compared to the market share we have for the LTE handsets,” Kyung-Keun Yoon, KT’s CFO, said during a conference call with investors.
It’s important to note that Korea has its own version of IMT 2020 RIT/SRIT being progressed by ITU-R WP 5D. The country’s IMT 2020 submission is based on 3GPP Release 15 “5G NR.” It is not clear if there are any technical differences between Korea and 3GPP IMT 2020 submissions and if so, what they are.