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S. Korea's 5G users near 11m in November: data

A billboard advertising 5G in Seoul. (Yonhap)
A billboard advertising 5G in Seoul. (Yonhap)

South Korea racked up nearly 11 million users on fifth-generation (5G) wireless networks as of end-November, data showed Thursday. 

The country had 10.9 million 5G users last month, accounting for 15.5 percent of the total 70.5 million mobile subscriptions, according to data compiled by the Ministry of Science and ICT. 

Subscriptions to the high-speed networks jumped by nearly 1 million from the previous month amid launches of new 5G phones, such as Apple Inc.'s iPhone 12 series, the tech giant's first smartphones to support the high-speed networks. 

South Korea was to first country to commercialize 5G in April last year and has since been aggressively pushing for wider adoption of the networks, which in theory can reach 20 times faster speeds than 4G LTE. 

A recent ministry report, however, found that the country's 5G networks still lag compared to promises, with the average 5G download speed reaching 690.47 megabits per second (Mbps), just over four times faster than current 4G LTE speeds. 

Local mobile carriers are currently preparing to commercialize new technology, such as standalone versions of the networks and millimeter wave 5G, to boost quality and speed. 

The number of 4G LTE subscribers last month continued to dwindle, reaching 53.3 million, down around 680,000 from the previous month, according to the data.  (Yonhap)

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