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S. Koreans start to register 5G phones

S. Koreans start to register 5G phones

Claim and counterclaim: South Korea says it beat the United States by a few hours because three of its carriers-SK Telecom, KT, and LG Uplus-launched 5G services at 11 p.m. local time on Wednesday.

The sales began two days after the world's first nationwide 5G network powered up in the East Asian country.

The new network is predicted to drive technologies such as self-driving cars, augmented reality, VR and "smart cities", where sensors help cities to monitor everything from pollution to traffic.

According to experts, communication technology will allow the nearly instantaneous connection in mobile phones, that is, 20 times faster than with the previous generation, so users can download movies in less than one second.

Rival US carrier AT&T deployed what it called its 5G E network in 12 cities past year with speeds faster than 4G networks but below those being deployed in other fifth-generation systems.

The 5G phone service - for a handful of celebrities including Yuna Kim, the Olympic medalist in figure skating, Baekhyun from k-pop boy band EXO - was launched Wednesday at 11 p.m. local time (10 a.m. EST). The date for April 5 was selected to start the first 5G service.

That makes it a vital part of the infrastructure of tomorrow, and the 5G standard is expected to bring about US$565 billion in global economic benefits by 2034, according to the London-based Global System for Mobile Communications, an industry alliance.




By Friday afternoon, 15,000 buyers had subscribed to the LG UPlus 5G service, and more than 10,000 to KT's offer, the carriers said.

According to British newspaper, the South Korean telecommunications operator SK Telecom to launch an Internet of the fifth generation this Friday.

But the implications of the new technology have pitted Washington against Beijing in an increasingly bitter standoff. Hyper-wired South Korea's networks advanced their launch by two hours in order to take a leap ahead of the U.S. network carrier.

Chinese entities own a total of 3,400 5G patents - more than a third of the total, according to data analysis firm IPlytics - with 1,529 of those registered by Huawei.

Both KT and LG Uplus said they also went live at the same time. Verizon last month stated that customers would be able to use 5G facilities on Moto Mod and Z3 by Motorola.

While security concerns over 5G networks using telecom equipment made by China's Huawei Technologies Co Ltd have marred the buildup to the release of these services, South Korean telcos have tried to shrug them off.

5G is said to herald a new level of connectivity and speed.

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