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South Korea’s 5G network averages 650Mbps download speed

Two smartphones connected to the 5G network (R) and the 4G network (L) respectively are shown for comparison by a Chinese mobile service provider at the 2019 Smart China Expo in southwest China's Chongqing Municipality, Aug. 26, 2019. (Photo: Xinhua). Sketched by the Pan Pacific Agency.

SEOUL, Aug 5, 2020, ZDNet. South Korea’s 5G network averaged 656.6Mbps for download speed across the capital Seoul and six other major cities in the country, the Ministry of Science and ICT said on Wednesday, ZDNet reported.

This is around four times faster than last year’s average of 158.53Mbps clocked by 4G LTE networks, the ministry said. The measurements were made between January and June of this year.

The country’s three telcos, SK Telecom, KT, and LG Uplus, each marked 789 Mbps, 652Mbps, and 528.6Mbps in average download speed, respectively.

South Korea currently provides non-standalone (NSA) networks that use 3.5GHz spectrum. The NSA networks were rolled out in April last year.

The country is planning to roll out standalone mmWave spectrum networks later this year.

Average download speed at crowded areas and transportation systems stood at almost 654Mbps while upload speed was around 63Mbps.

The government made measurements in 11,000 crowded areas such as department stores, libraries, universities, amusement parks, hospitals, exhibition centres, subways, and terminals, it said.

The ministry added that the measurements were made during peak hour times.

In the capital Seoul, the 5G coverage offered by the three major telcos had reached 425.5 square kilometres at the end of July, effectively covering almost all areas except forests, the government said. The city has an area of 605.2 square kilometres.

The ministry said the three telcos’ active investments into 5G has substantially increased network coverage and quality, saying that it hoped the telcos would continue to expand investment in the second half of the year to make further improvements.

Back in June, the government said it had plans to reallocate mid-band spectrum that is currently used for satellite communication for 5G use.

Last year, the ministry said it wanted to add up to 2,640MHz of bandwidth by 2026 to the currently allocated 2,680MHz for use in 5G networks.

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