The speed and coverage of 5G networks in South Korea improved this year as telecom operators have enhanced investment in the latest generation networks, the ICT Ministry said on Tuesday.
Average download speeds using 5G networks from three major mobile carriers, SK Telecom, KT Corp. and LG Uplus, stood at 808.45 Mbps in the first half of the year, compared with 690.47 Mbps in the second half of last year, according to the Ministry of Science and ICT.
The government aims to make 5G available nationwide across its 85 cities and rural areas by 2022 after commercializing the networks in 2019.
SK Telecom had the fastest average speeds at 923.2 Mbps, followed by KT at 782.21 Mbps and LG Uplus at 719.94 Mbps.
The three carriers’ average 5G network coverage reached 6,271.12 square km, compared with an average of 5,409.3 square kilometers last year.
The 5G network is available in the country’s seven major cities, including Seoul, while coverage in other smaller 78 cities was focused in heavily populated areas.
5G networks improved in stability, with its average rate of switching to 4G LTE networks during downloads at 1.22 percent, compared with 5.49 per cent in 2020.
Mobile carriers mostly offer 5G services on non-standalone mode, which requires support from 4G LTE networks. KT started providing standalone 5G last month, although it is available in only a handful of devices.
The number of customers subscribed to 5G networks reached about 16.5 million, accounting for 23 percent of the country’s total 71.6 million mobile network subscriptions.