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S. Korea launches test bed for 5G devices

South Korea's ICT ministry said Tuesday it has opened a testing facility for products that run on 5G networks in a move to support small and mid-sized companies.

The country has earmarked a total of 19.8 billion won ($13.8 million) from 2019 to 2023 to develop the testing center in Gumi, about 260 kilometers southeast of Seoul, according to the Ministry of Science and ICT.

The facility aims to support local companies in checking whether their connected devices work properly on local and global 5G networks before commercialization.

While the test bed has so far established infrastructure for products that run on non-standalone 5G, which requires support from 4G LTE, the ministry said it will introduce standalone 5G infrastructure this year.

South Korean telecom operators have yet to commercialize standalone 5G, which promises improved latency, though KT Corp. aims to deploy the technology soon.

As of the end of May, the country's 5G users reached 15.8 million, accounting for 22 percent of the total 71 million mobile subscriptions, according to ministry data. (Yonhap)