South Korea launches 5G smartphone networks ahead of schedule

South Korea launches 5G smartphone networks ahead of schedule

But South Korea's government says Korean companies launched their services for some customers before Verizon. The West carriers had originally planned to start their 5G services on Friday, but moved up to stay ahead of Verizon.

Only a few hours later form South Korea, the Verizon company from the USA launched its 5G services in selected areas of Chicago and Minneapolis.

But according to Yonhap, the South Korean launches came two hours earlier, at 11pm (10pm Singapore time) on Wednesday.

South Korea has jumped to the forefront of global competition over next-generation 5G network services.

During the launch event, SKT has also revealed its first 5G subscribers. For general customers, the services will be available from today - the previous launch date - when Samsung rolls out the Galaxy S10 5G, the world's first available smartphone using the technology. Users will get more data faster, with less delay. This means that Korea won by a whisker in the race to launch commercial 5G services with the United States.

Other US carriers, including AT&T, Sprint and T-Mobile, have pledged to do the same soon.

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

Countries are racing to build 5G networks that will be crucial for future tech such as driverless cars.

Reportedly, the 5G technology would offer twenty times greater data speeds than the 4G LTE networks and would better support virtual reality and artificial intelligence with low latency. Sometimes, it can also offer 100 times faster speeds.

A spokesperson for the world's Smartphone market leader said there are no sales forecasts for the new phone yet.

LG Electronics plans to release its 5G smartphone in South Korea later this month.

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