SK Telecom (SKT) detailed plans to focus expansion of its 5G coverage on major consumer hubs including shopping centres and airports, as it released its first coverage map for the technology.
In a statement, the South Korean operator said its goal is to boost availability of 5G in buildings, with around 120 department stores and shopping centres on its roadmap. The statement suggests these, along with airports, are a near-term target: it said coverage would be extended to subways, national parks and festival sites in the back half of the year.
Operators in the country staked a claim to launching the world’s first commercial consumer 5G services earlier this month, albeit they faced competition for the crown from US operators Verizon and AT&T.
SKT stated its 5G coverage map is designed to “further enhance customer convenience through transparent communication”. It noted the technology is available in “most areas of Seoul”, drawing comparisons between the size of the city (233.7 square miles) and the US city of Chicago (234 square miles and one of Verizon’s initial mobile 5G markets).
Seoul is one of 85 cities where SKT lit its 5G network: at launch it said it had deployed 38,000 compatible base stations, with the coverage map citing a maximum data rate of 2.7Gb/s.―Mobile World Live