The government of South Korea is seeking to establish the country as a world leader in 5G technologies and has pledged 1.6 trillion won (£905 million) to rollout the next generation of mobile data services by 2020.
The Ministry of Science has said in a statement to AFP, “We helped fuel national growth with 2G services in the 1990s, 3G in the 2000s and 4G around 2010. Now it is time to take pre-emptive action to develop 5G…Countries in Europe, China and the US are making aggressive efforts to develop 5G technology … and we believe there will be fierce competition in this market in a few years.” The new 5G networks could allow users to download an 800 MB film in one second and would allow passengers on bullet trains travelling at speeds of 500 kph (310mph) to access Internet services, (the current limit is 300kph).
The government hopes to establish a trial of 5G in the next 3 years and priority will be given to developing features such as hologram transmission and Ultra HD Video. The government claims that related industries will benefit from the rollout and they predict that operators, equipment makers and manufacturers could generate sales of 331 trillion won in the first 6 years after rollout.
The Ministry of Science hopes to enlist the support of tech giants Samsung and LG, but also wants to help the nation’s network equipment industry, which commands a far smaller worldwide market share than its device makers, which control 30 percent of the market – mainly through the Samsung brand. Samsung itself are working on 5G technology and last year announced it had achieved speeds of 1Gbps using millimetre wave bands (these are frequencies around 28GHz), using adaptive array transceivers.
South Korea is already one of the most connected countries on the planet and has been a world leader in 4G adoption rates; now the Ministry of Science says it is taking “pre-emptive” action to gain a head start over its Asian, European and US rivals in 5G developments.