10 March 2018
The South Korean Ministry of Science, ICT, and Future Planning has announced that they are creating a new fund which will accelerate 5G deployment in the country. The fund is meant to initiative specifically targeting technologies and projects which will lead to high data speeds of 10Gbps.
The new fund will allocate approximately $880,000 to up to two companies or groups that will pitch the best ideas for 5G deployment in the country. The deadline for submitting the applications is April 10.
South Korea is one of the few countries which is leading in 5G technology development and implementation. SK Telecom-owned SK Broadband, KT, and LG Uplus are scheduled to start experimental deployment of 5G tech by mid-2018. All the carriers are targeting 10Gbps speeds which would improve existing 4G LTE solutions by 10 times. Carrier KT has been testing the new infrastructure and setups for over a year now. The telecom giant started testing in early 2016.
Over 6.7 million South Korean nationals i.e 13% of the country’s population are already using Gigabit Internet connections. Seoul is presently Washington’s largest rival in the 5G race. Large-scale 5G buildouts in South Korea are expected to start by late 2018. The country aims to have 50% 10GB coverage by 2020.
“5G networks require three times more base stations. While 4G networks (LTE) cost around 8 trillion won, we expect it will take 10 trillion won for 5G networks,” said Park Jung-ho, the CEO of SK Telecom.