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SKT posts coverage map for 5G

It is releasing signal location information amid user complaints
Apr 12,2019
SK Telecom is releasing a 5G coverage map today so users know where 5G is likely to work, and where it definitely won’t.

The move comes amid a steady stream of complaints about the quality of the new service, which has been available since April 3 from all three carriers.

In particular, customers are saying that 5G phones are not seamlessly switching between 5G and LTE. With its two separate antennas, the Samsung Galaxy S10 5G - the only 5G capable phone available at the moment - is designed to automatically shift to the slower service when 5G is not available, and vice versa.

“5G will play a crucial role in raising the country’s economy by securing new business opportunities,” SK Telecom CEO Park Jung-ho said in a statement. “We will try our best to raise 5G service quality through close cooperation with 5G equipment suppliers.”

As Korea was the first country to activate 5G, it is important to pay attention to consumer complaints because consumers have a deep interest in and understanding of the latest technologies, according to Park.

The online map from SK Telecom will show - in real time - where coverage is available. KT has had a map available since April 5.

The SK Telecom map will show coverage in 85 cities and localities, with clusters of dots representing available signals over greater Seoul, Busan, Gwangju, Daegu, Ulsan and Daejeon.

The company started the service with 35,000 base stations, and it reports transfer speed of 500 to 700 megabits per second (Mbps). Users are reporting slower speeds.

Park conceded that SK Telecom was not “able to satisfy consumer expectations in the initial stage,” but he noted Korea has accomplished significant interest internationally so far. “A number of firms overseas are evaluating Korea as the global 5G test bed, and they are actively making propositions for 5G-based business cooperation.”

Park added that SK Telcom plans to help build the 5G ecosystem to maintain and enhance the country’s standing in the wireless industry. “Part of the reason we invested to become the world’s first country to commercialize 5G was to quickly foster the 5G ecosystem to raise the country’s global competitiveness.”

SK Telecom will share 5G technologies and its research and development capabilities with small- and medium-sized companies.

The company also announced Thursday that it acquired 34.6 percent of InCross, a Korean digital media company for 53.5 billion won ($47 million). Through InCross, SK Telecom will market its machine learning, data management platform and demand side platforms online.


BY JIN MIN-JI [jin.minji@joongang.co.kr]