South Korea and the US are arguing over who just launched the 5G first
The US carrier Verizon launched its 5G mobile network in the United States yesterday, a week earlier, as part of an attempt to sabotage South Korea's claim to be first.
Claim and Counterclaim: South Korea said it beat the US by a few hours as three of its operators, SK Telecom, KT and LG Uplus, launched 5G services at 11pm. local time on Wednesday. However, Verizon described the operation as a "hard blow", with the services only being launched for six celebrities and not for the public.
Early: Verizon launched a 5G service the same day in parts of Chicago and Minneapolis, one week before the scheduled launch date. Ordinary consumers in South Korea will be able to connect to 5G services from tomorrow, when the Samsung Galaxy S10 5G, the first smartphone with integrated 5G technology, goes on sale. China has not yet joined the fight, but its carriers are surely not far behind.
We do not care: If all this seems slightly ridiculous to you, you are not alone. The reason countries, and companies, want to claim the title of "first to 5G" is that it is a potentially huge source of revenue. Rather than getting lost in the discussions (although it's fun), focus on the basics: 5G services are starting to get started.
Why is it important? People are especially excited about the promise of ultra-fast 5G speeds: 500 to 1,500 megabits per second. This is much faster than existing 4G speeds, which typically run around 20 Mbps. That's the difference between downloading a movie in 20 minutes and 20 seconds.
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