South Korea launches the world’s first fully-fledged 5G mobile networks, a transformational leap that already has superpowers sparring for control of innovation that could potentially change the day-to-day lives of billions of people.

South Korea has long had a reputation for technical prowess, and Seoul has made the 5G rollout a priority as it seeks to stimulate stuttering economic growth

The technology can offer 20-times faster data speeds than 4G long-term evolution (LTE) networks and better support for AI and VR (artificial intelligence and virtual reality) with no delay.

Samsung was the first to unwrap a 5G phone in February when it unveiled the Galaxy S10 5G. Hence, Samsung’s 5G phone which will be available for sale in South Korea on April 5th is crowned the first smartphone to feature the 5G network.

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Although, other rivaling technology company like LG and Verizon also plans to release their own 5G network, South Korean beat them all to it. Hence, the LG Electronics release of its 5G smartphone in South Korea will follow later this month. As well as, the United States carrier, Verizon to launch its 5G network on April 11.

The launch of the S10 5G comes ahead of South Korea finalizing plans to become the first country to roll-out 5G nationwide, however, thanks to the quick launch Samsung S10 ranked first.  

But while the South has won the race to be first to provide the user experience, that is only one part of a wider battle that has pit the United States against China and ensnared giants including Huawei.

According to research, Chinese firms dominate 5G technology with over
3,400 patents which is more than a third of the total patent world-wide. While, South Korea comes next, with its companies holding 2,051 patents.  

However, South Korea emerged as the first to bring to life the plans of many inside the Samsung Galaxy S10.

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The Galaxy S10 5G phone was slightly delayed compared to its other S10 series siblings due to the disagreements over pricing with the South Korean government. However, South Korean regulators have finally approved pricing plans on Monday for the 5G devices.

The Phone is finally available for sale, but only within South Korea. Hence,
if you’re outside you’ll have to wait, therefore, Samsung hasn’t confirmed release dates in any other countries for the S10 5G.

Some country will, however, receive the S10 5G sooner than others.
Verizon, which will be the first to carry them in the US, plans to launch 5G in Chicago and Minneapolis this month and expand to more than 30 other cities by the end of 2019.

However, UK customers will have to wait slightly longer. EE, which partnered with Samsung to sell the phones, plans to launch 5G in London, Cardiff, Birmingham, Belfast, Edinburgh and Manchester by this summer.

Potential uses for 5g

  • Simultaneous translation of several languages in a party conference call 
  • Self-driving cars can stream movies, music and navigation information from the cloud
  • A full length 8GB film can be downloaded in six seconds. 

5G is expected to be so quick and efficient it is possible it could start the end of wired connections.  

By the end of 2020, industry estimates claim 50 billion devices will be connected to 5G.

Security Barrier

While US has pressed its allies and major economies to avoid 5G solutions from Chinese-owned telecom giant Huawei, citing security risks that technological backdoors could give Beijing access to 5G-connected utilities and other components. South Korean on the other hand have tried to shrug them off Saying ….

‘I don’t think we have a security issue in South Korea,’ Park Jin-hyo, head of SK Telecom’s information and communication tech research centre, told reporters.

He added that the company uses advanced technology to block eavesdropping or hacking into 5G networks.

Likewise, among South Korea’s top three telecom operators, SK Telecom and KT Corp do not use Huawei equipment for 5G. Smaller carrier LG Uplus uses Huawei gear.

However, SK Telecom officials said it was likely there will be an open auction for network equipment makers including Huawei if South Korea needs more base stations for higher frequencies.

Final Verdict

The new Samsung Galaxy S10 5G is a game changer and a leap to another segment of life and technology, however, the fact that Samsung’s 5G phones are well over $1,000, while there are many cheap 4G smartphones under $300 could be a major setback point for cost-savvy consumers.