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Korea Set to Launch World’s First 5G Services on April 5 with 5G Phone Ready
World’s First 5G Services
Korea Set to Launch World’s First 5G Services on April 5 with 5G Phone Ready
  • By Michael Herh
  • March 19, 2019, 10:03
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Korea’s launch of 5G telecommunication services is schedule for April 5.
Korea’s launch of 5G telecommunication services is schedule for April 5.

Korea is expected to have bragging rights as the first country to successfully commercialize 5G telecommunications in the world. Korea’s launch of 5G telecommunication services is schedule for April 5. Korea will launch 5G services with a 5G smartphone and a 5G monthly plan about a week earlier than its competitor, the United States. Initially, Korea aimed to launch 5G commercialization in March, but the launch has been postponed due to a lack of a dedicated 5G terminal and a monthly fee system. However, if commercial 5G services take place on April 5 in Korea, Korea will be the world's first country to commercialize 5G services as desired by the government.

The Samsung Galaxy S10 5G (SM-G977N) model passed a conformity test as a broadcasting and telecommunication device, said the National Radio Research Agency under the Ministry of Science and ICT on March 18. The conformity certification of the terminal in conformity assessment means that the terminal is certified after the agency checks whether or not the terminal causes electromagnetic interferences to a radio wave environment or a broadcasting network or suffers an electromagnetic interference in normal operations. In fact, pre-release work is over for the Samsung Galaxy S10 5G (SM-G977N) model. The Galaxy S10 5G model transferred to mobile operators is expected to be released after network connection tests.

The government and Samsung Electronics have tentatively agreed to commercialize 5G services on April 5. The three Korean mobile carriers will release the Galaxy S10 5G model and monthly plans on the day. Therefore, Samsung Electronics plans to launch the Galaxy S10 5G model on the day without a pre-order process unlike some new smartphone models.

The last remaining key factor is 5G service plans used by mobile carriers. As the Ministry of Science and ICT rejected SK Telecom's 5G service plan, no 5G service plans have been drawn up so far. Given the fact that the launch of commercial 5G services is slated for April 5, SK Telecom has to submit a revised 5G service plan to the Ministry of Information and ICT by April 22. The 5G service plan, which SK Telecom submitted earlier, cost at least 70,000 won a month.

A celebration event which the government initially planned to hold in honor of the launch of the world’s first 5G services on March 28 is highly likely to be discussed again after April 5. Therefore, the mobile operators will start commercial 5G services first and the government will hold the event later.

Korea will beat the United States by succeeding in commercializing 5G services for the first time in the world. "5G commercialization by Verizon in the United States is not perfect 5G services in terms of terminals or coverage, but was symbolic as the world's first," an industry observer said. "Although Korea’s schedule has been delayed somewhat, the launch of commercial 5G services on April 5 will be a great help in Korea securing the global 5G initiative."