The number of 5G subscribers in South Korea reached nearly 11 million users on fifth-generation (5G) wireless networks as of end-November, data showed on Thursday.
According to a data compiled by the Ministry of Science and ICT, the country had 10.9 million 5G users last month, accounting for 15.5 percent of the total 70.5 million mobile subscriptions, reports Yonhap news agency.
Subscriptions to the 5G networks increased by nearly 1 million from the previous month amid launches of new 5G phones, such as Apple’s iPhone 12 series.
South Korea launched 5G in April 2019. 5G network promises 20 times faster speeds than 4G LTE in South Korea.
A recent ministry report, however, found that the country’s 5G networks still lag compared to promises, with the average 5G download speed reaching 690.47 megabits per second (Mbps), just over four times faster than current 4G LTE speeds.
Mobile carriers are preparing to commercialize new technology, such as standalone versions of the networks and millimeter wave 5G, to boost quality and speed.
South Korea has the fastest 5G download speed in the world, reaching over 350 Mbps, Opensignal said recently.
The country’s 5G download speed stood at an average 351.2 Mbps, followed by Saudi Arabia at 272.8 Mbps and Taiwan at 247.7 Mbps, reports Yonhap news agency.
The time South Korean 5G users spent connected to the network stood at 24.6 percent, behind Kuwait at 29 percent and Saudi Arabia at 27.8 percent, according to the Opensignal report.
The country’s three major mobile carriers promised to spend up to 25.7 trillion won ($23.3 billion) until 2022 to update network infrastructure and establish nationwide 5G coverage.
The number of 4G LTE subscribers last month reached 53.3 million, down around 680,000 from the previous month, according to the data.