The number of subscribers to 5G network services in South Korea as of last year reached 11.85 million, according to government data, Sunday. Mobile data traffic using 5G networks too surged, due to the increasing number of 5G users, the government also reported.
According to the Ministry of Science and ICT, the number of 5G subscribers in December increased 8.4 percent from a month earlier, continuing the upward trend in the previous month. The number of 5G users has increased by more than 900,000 for a second straight month since November.
The increase was largely backed by the launch of Apple’s iPhone 12 in October, the ministry explained. The local telecommunications firms’ full-scale price competition for 5G devices and data plans also helped the number to increase, the ministry added.
The ministry expected the 5G subscriptions would continue to increase at a fast speed in January as Samsung Electronics has introduced its 5G-supporting Galaxy S21 lineup. The increase could further accelerate as local telecommunication firms have started to introduce cheaper 5G data plans.
The number of 5G subscriptions is, however, still under the original target of 15 million that the telecommunications industry suggested earlier last year.
By companies, SK Telecom has secured 5.47 million 5G subscriptions, while KT and LG U+ trail with 3.61 million and 2.75 million subscriptions, respectively.
The ministry noted 5G data traffic in December reached 302,278 terabytes, up from 200,000 terabytes six months prior.
During the same period, the data traffic of Long-Term Evolution networks users declined to 399,193 terabytes.
The ministry estimated 5G traffic would overtake that of 4G during the second half of this year, given the increasing number of 5G users.
By Shim Woo-hyun (email@example.com