The monthly data consumption by South Korean 5G subscribers averaged 22 gigabits per person in April, the first month of the commercial 5G service, which is almost three times higher than 8.4 gigabits spent by LTE subscribers in the same period, data showed.
According to the data released by the government on Tuesday, the consumption of 5G wireless data totaled 5,938 terabites in April, which is one-seventh the size of the corresponding data spent by LTE subscribers. The government said the number of 5G subscribers could soon outpace LTE in total data consumption, given the current pace of growth.
Meanwhile, the number of consumers who migrated to 5G in the first month totaled 271,686 persons. KT Corp. led the pack with 104,696 subscribers, followed by SK Telecom with 95,265 and LG Uplus 71,725. The number of total 5G subscribers is estimated to surpass 700,000 in Korea given a faster growth pace after May. If the current pace is maintained, the figure is expected to hit 1 million subscribers within this year, which is a similar growth pattern to LTE subscribers in the past. LTE subscribers surpassed the 1 million mark about three months after LTE smartphones became available in September 2011.
Despite early consumer complaints over the coverage and the speed of the next generation wireless communication system, the number of 5G subscribers grew fast on big discounts from the three telcos. 5G smartphones currently available in Korea are Samsung’s Galaxy S10 5G and LG’s V50 ThinQ.
By Lee Sun-hee and Minu Kim
[ⓒ Pulse by Maeil Business Newspaper & mk.co.kr, All rights reserved]