South Korea will be the first to launch 5G, overtaking the US and China

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UNITED STATES (VOP TODAY NEWS) — South Korea will become the first country to launch fifth-generation mobile networks (5G). With one of the highest smartphone penetration rates in the world, South Korea is racing with China, USA and Japan in the 5G market, hoping that this technology will contribute to breakthroughs in areas such as smart-cities and autonomous cars, and will accelerate economic growth.

The 5G technology was massively tested during the Winter Olympics in South Korean Pyeongchang, which took place last February. Despite the fact that the 5G network in South Korea has been technically functioning since December 1, mobile operators have postponed the official launch, because compatible devices were not yet ready for sale. Disagreements over pricing with the South Korean government have further aggravated the delay. But finally, the South Korean regulators finally approved the 5G tariff plans.

On Friday, April 5, the 5G network will be launched, and KT Corporation has already submitted unlimited tariff plans for its mobile network, The Korea Times reports. The minimum cost of a 5G package in South Korea will be about $ 48 for all three operators (SK Telecom, KT and LG U +). The basic package includes 8 GB of traffic for the operators of SK Telecom and KT, as well as 9 GB for the LG U +.

There are unlimited plans – basic, special and premium 5G Super Plan, they will cost 80,000 won ($ 70), 100,000 ($ 88) won and 130,000 won ($ 114), respectively. Also the tariffs include free international calls to 185 countries of the world, as well as free voice calls and text messages within the country.

“Our 5G base stations have a capacity of more than 20 gigabits per second, which is five to six times more than LTE, so we can fully satisfy the desires of users who use the Internet intensively,” representatives of KT Corporation said.

As expected, 5G will change the landscape of the gaming industry, since the technology will allow you to play games with minimal delay on smartphones. Cloud gaming platforms also have chances to conquer the market with the advent of 5G.

Fifth generation networks can offer up to 20 times faster data transfer rates than LTE 4G networks, and more effective support for artificial intelligence and low-latency virtual reality. Thus, the average download speed in 5G networks reaches 10 Gb / s. The average data download speed in existing LTE networks does not exceed 45 Mbit / s (or 0.045 Gbit / s).

The capacity of 5G is higher than that of the LTE network, which means that more people, applications, smart devices, etc. can use the network simultaneously. Now 5G technology is being tested in Indonesia, India, Canada, Turkey, the Philippines, Vietnam, Germany, Spain and many other countries.

In some countries, mobile operators are already putting 5G networks into commercial operation. For example, in the USA, Qatar and South Korea, where several thousand 5G base stations operate. In addition, Japanese authorities plan to deploy a full-scale 5G network for the Olympics 2020, and smartphone manufacturers are preparing to launch the first models with 5G support.

South Korean operators have spent billions on 5G marketing campaigns. SK Telecom expects about 1 million 5G customers by the end of 2019. Total operator has about 27 million users.

Samsung was the first to introduce a smartphone with 5G support in February, when it announced the Galaxy S10 5G and a folding smartphone that cost almost $ 2,000, which allowed the South Korean smartphone maker to take first place in the 5G gadget race. LG Electronics plans to release its 5G smartphone in South Korea later this month.

While the security concerns of 5G networks using telecommunications equipment from Chinese Huawei are extremely disturbing to the United States, South Korean telecommunications companies are not experiencing problems. SK Telecom and KT Corp do not use Huawei equipment for 5G.

A smaller operator LG Uplus uses Huawei equipment. But representatives of SK Telecom said that, most likely, there will be an open auction for manufacturers of network equipment, to which Huawei will admit, but only if South Korea needs more base stations.

American operator Verizon plans to launch 5G in Chicago and Minneapolis on April 11 and expand to another 30 other cities by the end of 2019. British customers will have to wait a little longer. EE, which in partnership with Samsung sold phones, plans to launch 5G in London, Cardiff, Birmingham, Belfast, Edinburgh and Manchester this summer.

According to the forecasts of the American analytical company IDC, by 2025 there will be more than 150 billion devices in the world that are interconnected and generate data in real time. For their work will require a new network infrastructure with high bandwidth, so in the future will play a major role mobile networks of the fifth generation.

According to the calculations of officials, the mass introduction of 5G in Russia will begin early in the next decade. State Corporation Rostec will form a development plan and prepare the conditions for creating a fifth generation (5G) connection based on Russian infrastructure until 2024, RIA reports with reference to the statement of the state corporation press service. The company plans to implement the first pilot projects in the next few years.

According to the “Digital Economy” national project, by 2024, in cities with a population of over one million people, sustainable coverage of fifth-generation wireless communication networks should be provided. However, for this it is necessary to solve the problem with the availability of frequencies.

Fifth generation communications can operate in the 694-790 MHz, 3.4-3.8 GHz and 4.4-5 GHz, and 24.25-27.5 GHz bands. However, according to the minister of digital development Konstantin Noskov, these frequencies are occupied by the military and space sectors.

The Ministry of Defense proposes to use other bands approved by the State Commission for radio frequencies: 4.8–4.99 GHz and 27.1–27.5 GHz. However, for the first range there is no commercial equipment, and the second is not intended for mass use, explains one of the interlocutors of the Vedomosti edition. It is not possible to completely free up the 3.4-3.8 GHz band, because of this the 5G speed will be lower than planned.

The Telecommunications Research Institute (NIIR) calculated the operating costs of maintaining 5G networks in cities with a population of up to 2030. In the case of each operator constructing its own network, the costs of all four operators will be 292 billion rubles. (73 billion rubles for each).

When sharing, the total costs will amount to 205 billion rubles. (51.5 billion rubles for each operator). In the case of work through a single infrastructure operator, operating expenses will amount to 100.2 billion rubles.

The total capital and operating costs for launching 5G for the entire industry will amount to 449.6 billion rubles for independent construction of networks, 315 billion rubles for joint construction of networks, and 164.4 billion rubles for a single infrastructure operator.

According to NIIR calculations, by 2030 all four operators can earn 209 billion rubles in million cities using basic data transfer services. and another 105 billion rubles. on the Internet of things services. Accordingly, the total income of 5G operators in cities with a population of more than 1 million in 2030 will amount to 316 billion rubles.

In the case of the construction by each operator of its own network, the net present value of all operators until 2030 will be 189 billion rubles. The internal rate of return with this approach will be 21%, the payback period – 8.3 years.

This article is written and prepared by our foreign editors writing for VOP from different countries around the world – edited and published by VOP staff in our newsroom.

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