The Korea Herald


South Korean government, telecom firms unveil 7-year 5G growth plans

Korea aims to secure 20 percent 5G network equipment market by 2026

By Yeo Jun-suk

Published : June 19, 2019 - 17:21

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The South Korean government on Wednesday unveiled extensive schemes to expand industries related to the fifth-generation cellular network, with an aim to boost the Korean companies’ global market share in 5G network equipment and smartphones.

The meeting, presided over by Science and ICT Minister Yoo Young-min, was attended by chiefs from SK Telecom, KT and LG Uplus, along with mobile division leaders from Samsung Electronics and LG Electronics.

The participants launched the “5G plus strategic committee” to discuss the country’s seven-year growth plan following the launch of the world’s first commercial 5G service in April.

Participants pledged to achieve 20 percent of market share in global 5G network equipment market by 2026. As for the 5G smartphone market, they vowed to secure the top spot by reaching 30 percent of global market share. 

Science and ICT Minister Yoo Young-min. (Yonhap) Science and ICT Minister Yoo Young-min. (Yonhap)

“The ‘world’s first title’ doesn’t carry significance anymore,” Minister Yoo said.

“We are in global spotlight since we launched 5G commercial service for the first time in the world. … But being the first does not mean being the best. We thus need a comprehensive strategy between the government and business sectors.” 

The meeting came amid growing attention to the 5G network since its commercial service began in April. While its subscribers surpassed 1 million here last month, concerns persist as to how to leverage the technology for industrial growth.

The participants pledged to create 73 billion won ($62.1 million) in exports from 5G-related industry by 2026. To achieve that, they would produce 180 trillion won in industrial output related to 5G business.

The attendants also introduced 10 key industries and five crucial services. Among them are technologies related to virtual and augmented reality.

For the plans to work, Kim Tae-yoo, professor from Seoul National University called for deregulation.

“We need to lift regulations on 5G service industry,” said Kim, who co-chairs the 5G strategic committee with ICT Minister Yoo. “Companies are the warriors of the 5G era, so preventing them will be something that goes against the historic wave.”

Among business leaders attending the event are SKT chief Park Jung-ho, KT chief Hwang Chang-gyu and LG Uplus chief Ha Hyun-hoi. Samsung executive Roh Tae-moon from the company’s mobile division also attended the event.