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Will 5G make its commercial debut in 2020?
In the past, we have discussed the confusion (sometimes intentionally) of what 5G technology actually entails. However, South Korea’s 3 major mobile operators, SK Telecom, kt, and LG Uplus, have plans to introduce commercial 5G technology by 2020-2021.
According to South Korean officials, next-generation 5G works at a 28 GHz frequency while 4G which runs at about 2 GHz. Based on the definition of 5G speeds by South Korean officials, if someone were to download a 800MB HD movie on their 5G network, it should only take one second. In order for this type of technology to be commercialized, consumers will need to access giga-speed mobile communications technologies.
The mobile operators gave an example of what the 5G technology should look like:
“In 2020 Mr. Do Min-jun (37) is in New York for a 3-day business trip. He married Ms. Na Young-sim 7 years ago and has one cute daughter named Mina (7). Mr. Do arrives at the hotel which he reserved while riding a taxi from airport. After checking in, while he is walking to the room, his phone rings. Right after he puts his device in his palm, a 3D hologram pops up; his wife says Mina has just visited a local clinic due to a fever of almost 40 degrees but she is still unwell. He makes an appointment with s pediatrician at the closest university hospital to his home after searching via his 3D hologram mobile phone.” – KoreaITTimes
South Korea has already stated that they will demonstrate their 5G technology during the 2018 Pyeongchang Winter Olympic Games. After the Olympic Games, the operators are looking to commercial the 5G technology by December of 2020.
In order to get the technology ready, it is expected that the private sector will invest about 1.6 trillion KRW ($1.5 billion) in 5G-related research and development. Don’t feel too bad about the research and development costs as the global and domestic markets for 5G expect to be valued at $2.3175 trillion in 2026.
South Korea is not alone in their desire for a 5G network:
- The European Union (EU) established ‘5GPPP’, a group for 5G standardization, whose members include 24 communications equipment and IT firms such as Ericsson, Hwawei, and Nokia Solutions and Networks (NSN).
- In China the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (MIIT) and Ministry of Science and Technology (MOST) have supported R&D programs through a 5G consultative group.
- Japan established ‘2020 and beyond ad hoc’ under a standardization organization and has focused on corporations’ 5G related activities.