World’s first 5G phone released in South Korea

South Korea claimed to be the first country to launch 5G on a mobile phone, but that was disputed by US carriers who say they rolled out 5G in limited areas as early as previous year, Reuters reported.

Americans did not wait till the availability of 5G smartphones in 2019 and they launched 5G broadband for home customers and 5G on hotspots in 2018. At times, it can even offer 100 times higher data speeds, cited credible sources.

In a press release Thursday, the minister also vowed national efforts to maintain the country's leadership in 5G services. In the United States, meanwhile, Verizon has claimed a world first by launching in parts of Chicago and Minneapolis on Wednesday, a week earlier than planned, also with a single device - a 5G clip-on module for its Motorola z3 smartphone, available to prospective customers.

The three mobile carriers - SK Telecom, Korea Telecom, and LG U+ - promptly chose to launch their services immediately.

In Japan, 5G is expected to become available in some parts of the country in the summer at the earliest.

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

The carrier stressed that its 5G subscribers can now experience 3D and augmented reality technology-based video calls with a service called Narle, and can seamlessly enjoy streaming games such as "Love Revolution". Hyper-wired South Korea's networks advanced their launch by two hours in order to take a leap ahead of the USA network carrier.

Qatari firm Ooredoo says it offers 5G services in and around Doha - but does not have devices available to use them.

South Korea comes next, with its companies holding 2,051 patents.

SK Telecom is working with its memory-chip making affiliate SK Hynix to build a highly digitised and connected factory powered by 5G technology, Mr. Ryu said.

South Korean carriers have spent billions on campaigns marketing 5G and, on Wednesday, SK Telecom showed off K-pop stars and an Olympic gold medallist as its first 5G customers.

Verizon's Ultra Wideband network customers must use Motorola's Z3 and a "5G Moto Mod", an accessory that allows Z3 to connect to the 5G Ultra Wideband network.

USA telco AT&T Inc said it was the first to launch a "commercial and standards-based" 5G network in December 2018.

  • Fernando Stephens