Light Reading

South Korea Proclaims $1.5B 5G Push

Ray Le Maistre

Building on its reputation as one of the most progressive 4G markets, South Korea's government is now targeting a leading role in 5G development and wants its domestic network infrastructure sector to be a greater presence in the global market.

The country's Ministry of Science, ICT and Future Planning has unveiled a 1.6 trillion Korean Won (US$ 1.5 billion) plan to develop and roll out trial 5G services by 2017 and commercial services by 2020, reports AFP.

The Ministry, in its full announcement (in Korean), also expects the 5G strategy to create 16,000 jobs.

To achieve those goals, the Ministry is seeking the help (and investment from) South Korea's operators -- KT Corp. , SK Telecom (Nasdaq: SKM), and LG U+ -- and the country's device and infrastructure vendors, LG Electronics Inc. (London: LGLD; Korea: 6657.KS) , Ericsson-LG , and Samsung Corp.

The Ministry also sees this as an opportunity for South Korea's network infrastructure sector to play a much more influential role in the global market: Its ambitious target, possibly inspired by the impact that China's Huawei Technologies Co. Ltd. and ZTE Corp. have had on the international stage, is that Korean vendors should command a 20% share of the global mobile network infrastructure market, compared with less than 5% currently.

Samsung, which earlier this year announced its foray into 5G R&D, has repeatedly stated its ambitions to develop its networks business overseas but has so far failed to have anything like the impact of the Chinese vendors. (See Samsung Enlists Ex-NSN Boss for Networks Help and Samsung: Inching Toward 5G?)

For more on early 5G developments and proclamations, see:

— Ray Le Maistre, Editor-in-Chief, Light Reading

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1/22/2014 | 8:06:40 AM
Global market share - 20% target?
That's a very aggressive target for the Korean infrastructure vendors.... but I wonder of the Ministry knows something about SPrint's network rollout plans that maybe some of us don't? 


Even with a slice of the pie at Sprint, quadrupling the market share agaist what is already intense competition looks very ambitious....
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