South Korean operators launched their first 5G networks in April, and one million consumers reportedly have already signed up for 5G subscriptions.
South Korean news outlets are reporting that the country’s Ministry of Science and ICT announced June 10 that the South Korean operators have together hit the 1 million subscriber mark. The milestone was reached in just 69 days since 5G commercial service began in the country, blowing past the 4G uptake rates seen in 2011. At that time, it took 80 days for the 4G subscriber numbers to reach one million in South Korea.
Operators KT Corp, SK Telecom and LG Uplus turned on commercial 5G services in early April. The three carriers focused their initial 5G launches in high traffic areas across the country’s major cities. The carriers are steadily expanding their 5G coverage. South Korean news agency Yonhap reports carriers have added nearly 4,000 new base stations across the country and more than 18,000 relay facilities to support 5G.
SK Telecom is the market leader, accounting for 40% of 5G subscriptions. LG Uplus and KT Corp each have a 30% share in the 5G market at present. LG Uplus seems to have gained new subscribers, while KT Corp and SK Telecom have mostly upgraded existing 4G customers to 5G, according to Yonhap. It said 5G subscriptions could hit 4 million by the end of the year.
The Ministry of Science and ICT expects 85 South Korean to have 5G connectivity by the end of the year.