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Korean 5G craze dampened by coronavirus

Reuters
Reuters4/3/2020 04:24 PM GMT+08  • 4 min read
Korean 5G craze dampened by coronavirus
(April 3): South Korea is struggling to retain its lead in global next-generation 5G telecom services, as the coronavirus pandemic further cools sentiment of consumers whose interest in the technology has waned due to cost and quality concerns.
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(Apr 3): South Korea is struggling to retain its lead in global next-generation 5G telecom services, as the coronavirus pandemic further cools sentiment of consumers whose interest in the technology has waned due to cost and quality concerns.

The Asian nation’s telecom operators, led by SK Telecom and KT Corp, launched the world’s first 5G services exactly a year ago. And Samsung Electronics, its dominant mobile phone manufacturer, stole a march on equipment makers globally by launching the first 5G phone around the same time.

But after an early growth spurt driven by generous subsidies for 5G smartphones, the hype has almost vanished as customers question the value of pricier handsets and sometimes-spotty 5G services. Now the coronavirus crisis is hitting demand hard.

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