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Korea inspects quality of local 5G networks upon complaints


The South Korean government is carrying out a nationwide quality inspection of its 5G networks amid growing dissatisfaction among people using the service, which came out last year.

According to an ICT Ministry announcement Tuesday, the government has started assessing 5G networks and service in the nation’s major cities -- Seoul, Busan, Incheon, Daegu, Daejeon, Gwangju and Ulsan. The government has sampled around 100 locations in those cities, checking call quality and 5G network reception.

The government’s first official assessment of 5G network quality came in response to a flood of complaints from network users concerning unreliable connections.

According to data collected by Voice of Consumers, a local consumer rights organization, there have been around 2,055 inquiries regarding 5G network interruptions since last year. One out of 3 were about how to cancel the service.

Complaints about 5G networks made up 20 percent of all complaints handled by the Korea Communications Commission’s dispute resolution committee over the past year, according to the ministry.

Telecommunications industry sources said network interruptions would be resolved as the companies continued to expand their infrastructure. But expansion has been sluggish due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The three major telecommunications firms -- KT, SK Telecom and LG Uplus -- invested a combined 1 trillion won in the first quarter of this year, falling short of their original plan of 4 trillion won.

By Shim Woo-hyun (