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Super-fast 5G isn’t so quick if you can’t connect

Apr 10,2019
The core quality that mobile operators boast about when it comes to 5G is speed, but the faster speeds aren’t much use if users aren’t even able to connect to the network with their brand-new 5G devices.

Following the activation of 5G last week, users have been complaining about the small area that 5G coverage actually extends to and the network’s latency.

When moves into an area that isn’t covered by 5G, their Samsung Galaxy S10 5G should automatically switch over to 4G LTE - according to the complaints, the signal just cuts out instead.

Users subscribed to 5G services from all three mobile carriers - SK Telecom, KT and LG U+ - have complained of the issue.

“I’ve been using the Galaxy 5G for five days,” wrote a user on a Samsung smartphone community online. “My phone frequently loses signal and I have to reboot the phone every time to use it. … I guess it’s a sacrifice experienced by early adopters, but it’s not fair.”

One commenter on the post said that they just use LTE with the 5G phone to avoid the issue.

Another commented that the network eventually stabilized after they disconnected and reconnected several times.

Such problems have continued to plague 5G users even after Samsung updated the device’s software on Saturday to allow for faster network reception. Samsung’s 5G model is equipped with two antennae that are each able to latch onto 5G and LTE networks.

Both Samsung and the mobile operators claim that it might not be their fault.

Samsung argued that it is continuously updating its software for faster network reception, adding that the mobile carriers are working on improving their networks as well.

Sources from the mobile operators are equally unwilling to take responsibility.

“At this point, it’s too early to say whether the problem is derived from the unstable network or the smartphone device itself,” said a source from the industry.

KT sold a total of 30,000 5G phones as of Saturday while LG U+ sold a total of 25,000 devices as of Sunday. SK Telecom refused to give numbers, saying it could foster unhealthy competition.


BY JIN MIN-JI [jin.minji@joongang.co.kr]


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