South Korean operator pledges to launch commercial 5G services in March next year

KT Corp on Thursday announced it will commercially launch 5G services in March 2019.

The South Korean operator, which ran a trial 5G service at the PyeongChang Winter Olympics last month, made the announcement to the media in Seoul, according to the Yonhap News Agency.

Oh Seong-mok, president of KT’s network business, indicated that following the PyeongChang trial, the telco is working towards nationwide 5G coverage; "KT will launch the 5G service for the first time in the world that combines true mobility, excellent service and nationwide coverage," the news agency quoted him as saying.

The "true mobility" comment is a reference to the fixed wireless 5G services currently being touted by some major telcos, including U.S.-based Verizon Wireless. KT will not follow this route, Yonhap said.

KT admitted that although it is gearing up for a March launch, the service might not be available to end-users until later due to the lack of availability of 5G-compatible smartphones and chipsets.

plus ça change…when it comes to new generation mobile network launches, at least.