How South Korea Won the First Round of the 5G Race

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3Q 2019 | IN-5532


South Korea Reached One Million 5G Subscribers in Less Than Three Months


5G is coming much faster than the industry expected and accelerating much more quickly than 2G, 3G, or 4G. While there was no 4G capable handset available in the first year of 4G, companies like Huawei, Samsung, Oppo, Vivo, LG, ZTE, and Sony have already announced their 5G capable phone for 2019 just one year after the official 5G standard was published. A total of 15 smartphones and a decent number of other 5G capable devices, such as Customer Premises Equipment (CPE), mobile hotspots, modules, and smart TVs, are also being developed for commercial launch. The total number of 5G-capable products is expected to reach around 50 in 2019. Overall, ABI Research expects that 5G will need less than four years to achieve 500 million subscribers, which took five years for 4G and 10 years for 3G. 

There are a few early deployers that have been particularly successful with the adoption of 5G. A leading position in the 5G race has several advantages: stimulating economic growth, establishing geopolitical superiority, and even gain…

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