South Korea is set to become the first country in the world to launch commercial 5G network services at scale

South Korea’s big three telcos are racing to deploy as many base stations as possible before the launch of commercial 5G network services on the 5th April 2019.

SK Telekom, KT and LG U+ are all scheduled to launch 5G services next week, making South Korea the first country in the world to deploy next generation mobile network services at scale.

According to a report in the Korea Times, KT has already deployed 15,000 5G base stations around Seoul and expects to ramp up that figure to almost 30,000 by the time 5G services are launched in April.

LG U+ has so far launched 18,000 base stations in the South Korean capital, with plans to scale this up to 50,000 in the first half of the year.

"Beginning with Seoul, surrounding areas and some metropolitan cities, we will build additional base stations in major cities and expand the coverage to 85 towns and counties to keep our competitiveness in 5G networks," an official from LG U+ told The Korea Times.

SK Telecom has not yet disclosed the number of base stations it has deployed, but it claims that it will offer the country’s widest coverage area.

South Korea is expected to complete the rollout of its 5G network infrastructure in 2022.

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