South Korean operator KT reportedly laid claim to launching the nation’s first commercial standalone (SA) 5G network, though consumer access remains limited to those owning a smartphone from Samsung’s Galaxy S20 range.
Yonhap News Agency reported on the operator’s move, revealing it lit the SA 5G service today (15 July) and touted the network’s benefits in terms of extending smartphone battery life.
KT plans to work with manufacturers to expand the number of devices capable of accessing the SA 5G service, Yonhap News Agency added.
South Korean operators were among the first to lead the world into the 5G era with a concurrent launch of services employing the non-standalone variant in April 2019.
GSMA Intelligence estimated their combined user base stood at 13.7 million at end-March, while Yonhap News Agency quoted Ministry of Science and ICT figures placing the total at 15.8 million by end-May.
Aju Business Daily reported KT believes its SA 5G network will open opportunities across industry verticals alongside the consumer market, a subject raised by head of enterprise group Shin Soo-Jung in the GTI Summit during MWC21 Barcelona last month.