Monday, 27 May 2019 | 04:35 WIB

US, South Korean Companies Compete to Become First 5G Network Launcher

US, South Korean Companies Compete to Become First 5G Network Provider (star)

SEOUL, NETRALNEWS.COM -- Fierce competition has broken out between the US and South Korean telecommunications companies, as each party claims to have launched the world's first commercial fifth generation wireless network.

Verizon accused three major South Korean operators - SK Telecom, KT and LG Uplus - of taking action to advance the launch schedule, which will be held on Friday (5/4/2019), in an effort to claim the title.

The three operators announced on Thursday (4/4/2019) morning that some of the most famous stars in Korea, including K-pop singers, had used the 5G Samsung Electronics Galaxy S10 smartphone on Wednesday night (3/4/2019).

Their announcement came just hours after Verizon revealed that it would launch next week to activate 5G services in the states of Chicago and Minneapolis. The service is available through the Motorola Moto Z3 handset which is combined with the 5G modem.

Verizon's announcement was made at 11:00 ET, while SK said he had activated his service at 10 am ET.

"We decided to launch 5G two days earlier to let the world know that Korea is the first in the world," SK Telecom said in a statement, which was launched from the Nikkei Asian Review on Thursday (4/4/2019).

The company said that they had no reason to wait until Friday because everything was ready.

The launch also received active support from the South Korean government, for whom 5G is a national priority. The government told the Nikkei Asian Review that they had allowed the initial launch.

"We prove again that our country is the top in information telecommunications through the first 5G commercialization in a world where the private sector and government work together," Minister of Science and ICT You Young-min said in a statement.

"Our country can lead the 5G era through the first 5G commercialization in the world. We will mobilize all of our country's capabilities to become the top 5G country."

Winning the first title in the world gives the state and company excellence, said James Kim, researcher at the Asian Institute for Policy Studies.

"Verizon raised this issue first because good brand marketing has a title in terms of profits and stock prices," Kim said.

Samsung Electronics, a 5G smartphone manufacturer and 5G network equipment provider, also wants to win global competition. "Samsung cannot ignore who won the first title in the world because the market is a test bed for other markets. The title will also provide excellence in the US and other markets."

SK Telecom asked some of the country's favorite stars to help launch. They include Baek-Hyun and Kai from EXO and Vancouver Winter Olympic gold medalist Yuna Kim.

"We are very happy to meet more fans through the 5G VR SK Telecom service," said Baek-Hyun and Kai.

Yuna Kim said a faster network would help her teach young students remotely through virtual reality and augmented reality services. "I like this service because I can train young figure students with one-on-one lessons based on VR/AR," Kim said.

So what about Verizon?

"They gave a telephone call to six celebrities and they tried to say that it was a network launch?! It was PR action," said Kevin King, director of corporate communications at Verizon. "We are launching a network and making 5G devices available to every customer who wants them. We have devices in stores in Chicago and Minneapolis, and are available for online purchases."

So, who will be the first to launch the 5G network service in the world?