South Korea: 4G Nation
4:45 AM -- Little more than a year after initial services were launched, South Korea already has a 4G penetration rate of about 17 percent of the country's population. (See Korea's LTE Lift-Off.)
SK Telecom (Nasdaq: SKM) reached 4 million LTE customers on July 20, having added more than 600,000 new 4G customers during the first 20 days of this month. It expects to add 1 million LTE customers during July and have about 7 million LTE customers by the end of this year.
LG Telecom , which offers its services as LG U+, meanwhile, has said it's about to reach 3 million LTE customers, while KT Corp. has 1.3 million 4G customers, reports The Korea Times.
That means the country, which has a population of about 49 million, has a total of 8.4 million LTE users, giving it a 4G penetration rate of about 17 percent.
In overall terms, the country is not a global leader -- Verizon Wireless alone has 10.9 million LTE customers in the U.S. -- but as with other cutting-edge communications services (think fiber access fixed broadband) the Korean population is showing a remarkable desire for the latest, fastest services at a time when other countries are still trying to figure out their 4G spectrum allocation plans.
— Ray Le Maistre, International Managing Editor, Light Reading