The race to 5G is officially on as the first networks have been turned on by telecoms and smartphones are rapidly becoming available from manufacturers.
Recently, Verizon turned on its 5G wideband network in limited locations in two cities in the U.S. and Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd revealed the pricing for its 5G data plan and 5G smartphones in South Korea with the rollout happening in early April.
While the technology is just now being deployed, it isn’t stopping companies and even countries from bragging about being the first to roll out 5G services. However, despite what companies claim, as indicated from the roll out of Verizon’s 5G, initial deployments are going to be limited to locations where 5G will be available and by the maximum speed the devices will be able to handle.
South Korea is rapidly moving on its 5G service, boasting that it is the first country with numerous deployments live. Samsung has recently announced it has delivered the largest share of 5G network solutions in the country with service available to consumers and enterprises from all three mobile carriers in 85 cities across South Korea.
Samsung has been supplying 5G base station radios and 5G core solutions since late last year and now has more than 53,000 5G radio base stations to Korea’s three telecom operators.
Korean operators are using Samsung’s 5G Massive-MIMO unit (MMU) radio base station in the 3.5 GHz spectrum for commercial 5G networks. Samsung’s MMUs can be installed in existing operators’ cellular sites allowing 5G technology to be more easily deployed.
All three Korean operators are using virtualized 5G core solutions that support both legacy 4G networks and next-generation 5G services in non-standalone (NSA) mode. The equipment can also migrate to standalone (SA) mode through software upgrades as they become available.