5G to change life, drive innovation, Hong predicts

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5G to change life, drive innovation, Hong predicts

Finance Minister Hong Nam-ki said once the world’s first 5G smartphone is introduced at the end of March and 5G connectivity is in full swing, life will improve significantly.

“Commercialized 5G is a core infrastructure of the fourth industrial revolution as it superconnects everything in real time and transfers massive amounts of data at high speeds,” Finance Minister Hong said during a meeting on innovation-led growth Wednesday. “The 5G smartphone, which is to be launched for the first time in the world in March, and 5G telecommunications services will be used in interactive education and digital health care, which will contribute significantly to the quality of life.”

He said the government has been working on establishing the foundation for the commercialization of 5G, including distributing the 5G frequency to telecommunication companies in June 2018, expanding R&D investments and even setting a new tax rate - a maximum of 3 percent - for companies building the 5G network.

“This year, the three telecommunication companies - SK Telecom, KT and LG U+ - are expected to invest more than 3 trillion won [$2.67 billion]” in 5G, Hong said.

Samsung Electronics is expected to hold an event at the end of March to introduce its first 5G smartphone, dubbed the “Galaxy S10 X.” It will also be celebrating 10 years since the mobile phone manufacturer released its first Galaxy phone.

In December, the company tested its 5G smartphone as the three Korean mobile telecommunication companies officially switched on 5G-network services for clients in the greater Seoul area and in some of the larger cities in the country.

Finance Minister Hong said the commercialization of 5G services will spark innovation and convergence in various industries, including manufacturing, logistics, health and medical services, even in disaster prevention and management.

5G is estimated to have maximum data transmission speeds 20 time faster than 4G.

According to the government, 5G connectivity will not only increase the access to virtual and augmented reality, including wireless holograms for education or entertainment, but with the help of 5G, autonomous vehicles will roam the streets while traffic control will be managed more efficiently by applying artificial intelligence technologies in real time.

Smart factories with wireless robots and quality control and delivery by drones will become a reality.

By 2026, the global 5G equipment and device market is expected to be worth around 344 trillion won, while the telecommunication service market will be worth around 410 trillion won and the 5G-based convergence market about 1,440 trillion won.

By 2030, the economic effects of 5G will be valued at an estimated 47.8 trillion won in Korea, which is equivalent to 2.5 percent of the country’s economy.

BY LEE HO-JEONG [lee.hojeong@joongang.co.kr]
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