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SKT becomes world’s first to hit 1 million 5G subscriptions

Korea’s SK Telecom said Thursday that it became the first in the world to have over 1 million 5G subscribers for a single network service, vying against 28 other such telecommunication network services in the world.

Yoo Young-sang, SKT’s executive vice president and head of the Mobile Edge Computing department, said, “Korea is a unique country that has all the facets that enable a 5G ecosystem such as the technology, the infrastructure, the service and the subscribers.

SK Telecom’s 5G service is displayed. (SK Telecom)
SK Telecom’s 5G service is displayed. (SK Telecom)

“We will lead the way for global 5G expansion in order for the 5G network to become a core future industry like semiconductor.”

SKT attributed its milestone achievement to cross-border collaborations and prioritized services in “5G clusters” in Korea, as well as the launch of Samsung Electronics’ Galaxy Note 10.

SKT is collaborating with Microsoft and Sinclair Broadcast Group from the US and Germany’s Deutsche Telekom to expand its global 5G infrastructure.

SKT especially noted that the number of 5G subscribers jumped after the launch of a new 5G mobile device.

The number of its 5G subscribers Monday had been 880,000, but after Samsung’s Galaxy Note 10 devices released Tuesday, the number ballooned over just two days.

The world’s first 5G smartphone, Samsung’s Galaxy S10 5G, launched on April 3. SKT’s 1 million milestone comes 140 days in.

The subscription rate for 5G is double that of the previous Long-Term Evolution service, which had launched in July 2011 and took eight months to reach 1 million for SKT.

By Lim Jeong-yeo (