SEOUL, Jan. 5 (Korea Bizwire) — ICT Minister Yoo Young-min met with the heads of the country’s main mobile carriers Friday, asking for a joint effort to swiftly set up fifth-generation network technology.
The Ministry of Science and ICT and the firms — SK Telecom Co., KT Corp. and LG Uplus Inc. — have plans to start commercial operations of the 5G network in early half of 2019 and build nationwide infrastructure by 2020.
Park Jung-ho, the head of SK Telecom, South Korea’s No. 1 mobile carrier, Kwon Young-soo, head of LG Uplus, and KT CEO Hwang Chang-kyu met with Yoo in Seoul earlier in the day.
“The cost for telecommunications services has been cited as one of the big burdens for people,” Yoo was quoted by the ministry as saying. He further urged companies to take steps to lower costs for users.
The companies have made plans to invest in the coming three to four years to establish faster and more stable data processing than the current 4G network, or long-term evolution (LTE).
Yoo also requested KT’s support for the pilot launch of a super-high speed network service that will be available during the PyeongChang Winter Olympics slated for next month.
“KT will thoroughly prepare for the showcase of 5G technology at the PyeongChang Olympics,” said Hwang.
The 5G network technology allows data transmission speeds 40-50 times faster than the existing LTE networks.
The meeting, meanwhile, came on the heels of South Korea’s announcement at the end of last year of a blueprint to commercialize the next-generation mobile network.