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

Ian Heath 12/5/2012 | 5:24:34 PM
re: South Korea: 4G Nation With the adoption of Wibro, the Korean equivalent of WiMax and the utilisation of Data within South Korea, they had already adopted their own version of cloud services through CNC and apps such as Nate. The Koreans have demonstrated this capability for at least 5 years now, So with the adoption of 4G and VoLTE then the Koreans will trailblaze the technology evolution, however the RoW utilisation and adoption of 4G mentality will be different, the RoW is typically Social media hungry, whereas Asian markets are typically content rich D/L hungry
digits 12/5/2012 | 5:27:04 PM
re: South Korea: 4G Nation

What's going to be interesting, for me anyway, is to see how the enterprise apps and voice services markets develop around this sort of market penetration.

 Could Korea be the first real mobile cloud services market?

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