South Korea's SK Telecom claims it has become the first mobile operator to exceed the 1 million 5G subscribers that make up more than 3.5% of its total subscriber base of 28 million.
SK Telecom reached the milestone this month just 140 days after launching its 5G smartphones. The company said this is twice as fast as the LTE uptake rate. After commercializing the LTE service in July of 2011, the company hit 1 million LTE 4G subscribers in eight months.
Based on 5G subscribers, average monthly data usage of 5G customers who switched devices from LTE to 5G has increased 65% from 20.4 GB for LTE to 33.7 GB for 5G.
SK Telecom has launched three 5G smartphones so far: the LG V50 ThinQ 5G, the Samsung Galaxy S10 5G and the Samsung Galaxy Note 10 5G.
SK Telecom has been very aggressive with its roll out of 5G services having recently launched roaming services in other countries, working with Swisscom in Switzerland to expand service to users. The company has also started experimenting with different ways to improve services using 5G. This includes demonstrating next-generation television broadcasting in future cars with a 5G network and ATSC 3.0, developing HD maps for autonomous vehicles that automatically update road information and hazards, and testing how 5G networks can bring new services to small villages by demonstrating the network in an isolated village in Korea's Demilitarized Zone (DMZ).
The company said it plans to continue pushing forward with various global partners to boost the ecosystem for its 5G services and business models.