South Korea’s big three telcos to share 5G in remote regions
South Korea’s three largest telcos are coming together to bring 5G to remote and coastal areas in the country.
SK Telecom, KT Corporation, and LG Uplus Corporation have signed an agreement that will see users in remote locations access 5G regardless of the mobile carrier they subscribed to.
This means that if a user is subscribed to SK Telecom, but SK Telecom’s mobile network does not cover the remote location that he or she is based and KT Corp.’s does, the user will still be able to activate 5G and surf the net with KT Corp.
This collaboration comes as part of the country’s ongoing plan to roll out 5G nationwide. In 2020, all three telcos vowed to invest up to $23 billion (KRW 25.7 trillion) to upgrade their network infrastructure.
The Ministry of Science and ICT said that the plan will currently undergo testing, and is scheduled for commercialisation in phases by April 2024.
The ministry also added that the selected remote regions are sparsely populated, with a population density of 92 people per square kilometer, compared with those without network sharing at 3,490 people per square kilometer.
As of February, the country had 13.66 million 5G subscriptions, accounting for 19 per cent of its total mobile users. South Korea was the world’s first country to commercialize 5G in April 2019.