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SK Telecom signs a million 5G customers

Aug 23,2019
SK Telecom had a million 5G subscribers as of Wednesday.

It claims to be the first among 28 mobile phone companies in the world offering 5G services with more than a million customers using them.

The company reached the one million milestone 140 days after commercializing the high-speed wireless network on April 3. When SK Telecom commercialized LTE service in July 2011, it took eight months to get up to a million subscribers, it said Thursday.

“As of Monday, the number of SK Telecom’s 5G subscribers were around 880,000, but the number increased rapidly after launching the 5G-enabled Galaxy Note10 [on a preorder basis] starting Tuesday,” the company said in a statement.

The carrier announced that a diverse range of users is switching to 5G. When 5G was launched in April, 55.1 percent of the 5G subscribers were in their 30s and 40s. But in August, 16.6 percent of new 5G subscribers were in their 20s, 21.9 percent in their 30s and 24.9 percent in their 40s, according to SK Telecom data.

“More and more countries are commercializing 5G networks, but Korea is the only country that has the technology, infrastructure, 5G services and subscribers,” said Ryu Young-sang, head of the mobile network operations division at SK Telecom. “We will focus on making 5G one of [the] major future businesses in Korea like semiconductors.”

KT said Thursday that its 5G subscribers number is around 750,000, and LG U+ said its subscribers are a bit fewer than 700,000.

At a press briefing in Seoul on Thursday, Park Jong-wook, senior vice president of the mobile service group at LG U+, said, “as different 5G phones are being introduced to the market, we expect to reach one million 5G subscribers by the end of this year.”

BY KIM JEE-HEE [kim.jeehee@joongang.co.kr]