A Samsung Galaxy S10 5G smartphone is displayed at an SK Telecom shop during a launch event in Seoul on Friday. Jung Yeon-Je/ AFP
Samsung Electronics on Friday released the Galaxy S10 5G, the world’s first available smartphone with built-in fifth-generation communications technology, as South Korea seeks to build a lead in the transformative system.
On Wednesday South Korea became the first country to commercially launch nationwide 5G services, with three superfast networks going live offering data speeds that allow users to download entire movies in less than a second.
Hours later US giant Verizon began commercial services in Chicago and Minneapolis, after rival AT&T made a 5G-based system available to selected users in parts of 12 cities in December.
South Korea’s three mobile carriers — SK Telecom, KT and LG Uplus — held launch events across Seoul for the Galaxy S10, whose base version costs 1.39 million won ($1,200).
Interactive virtual-reality displays and robot demonstrations were on show to tout the capabilities of the latest iteration of mobile internet speed, and new users were excited about the possibilities, especially live streaming of sports games and university lectures.
“I watch a lot of videos often, movies and lectures,” said buyer Shim Ji-hye, 38. “I hope faster speeds will help me manage my time better.”
Samsung Galaxy S10 5G smartphones are displayed at an SK Telecom shop during a launch event in Seoul on Friday. AFP
Another user said he was most excited about virtual reality content — which includes games and even “celebrity VR dating” apps according to the country’s mobile carriers.
With 5G, said researcher Lee Sang-yoon, VR content “can be enjoyed in real time with no delay... I’ll be able to enjoy it in better resolution and speed.”
Before Friday’s roll-out of the Samsung phone, the 5G service had been restricted to a handful of specially selected users in South Korea.
Rival manufacturer LG is due to launch its V50 ThinQ, another 5G phone, in the South Korea later this month, while in the US, Verizon’s network works with Lenovo’s Moto Z3 smartphone fitted with a special accessory.
Commercialising 5G gives South Korea the chance to build around the technology, which is crucial for the future development of devices such as autonomous vehicles and the Internet of Things.
It is expected to bring about $565 billion in global economic benefits by 2034, according to the London-based Global System for Mobile Communications, an industry alliance.
The implications of the new technology have pitted Washington against Beijing — whose firms dominate 5G technology — in an increasingly bitter standoff.
The 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.
Chinese entities own a total of 3,400 5G patents — more than a third of the total, according to data analysis firm IPlytics — with 1,529 of those registered by Huawei.
South Korea comes next, with its companies holding 2,051 patents, while US firms have 1,368 together.
Neither KT nor SK Telecom use Huawei technology in their 5G networks, but it is a supplier to LG UPlus, the companies told AFP.
South Korea’s three mobile carriers and top US telco Verizon Communications commercially launched 5G services on Wednesday, ahead of their initial schedules
North Korea has returned its staff to an inter-Korean liaison office, Seoul said on Monday, just days after unilaterally withdrawing from the joint facility.
US President Donald Trump will host his South Korean counterpart Moon Jae-in next month, Seoul said on Friday, after the latest summit between Washington and Pyongyang ended in deadlock.
The 16-year-old's father demanded a ban on PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds, known by the acronym PUBG, after his son hanged himself from a ceiling fan at their Hyderabad home following a reprimand for wasting time online rather than studying for an English exam, according to Indian news reports.
Smart Dubai has successfully completed phase one of the UAEPASS initiative – its nation-wide programme for digital identity – integrating seven leading government entities to date. This allows citizens, residents, and visitors in the emirate to seamlessly access these entities’ services via smartphones,
With less than 19 months left for the inauguration of the Expo 2020, its organisers have further speed up the pace of allocating contracts to thousands of local and foreign firms to ensure timely preparation of the event, which is set to be the largest of its kind in the Arab World.
Aviation in India has attracted entrepreneurs like moths to a flame but only a few have managed to survive and thrive in a sector which has become the graveyard of all kinds of airline business models − budget, full service and hybrid. Kingfisher was one of the biggest private initiatives but it failed.
The Bank of Japan (BOJ) is expected to forecast this week that inflation will remain below its 2 per cent target through the fiscal year that ends in March 2022, sources say, a sign its massive stimulus will stay in place for the foreseeable future.