A KT Corp. worker uses Samsung Electronics Co.'s Galaxy S20 device on standalone 5G mode, in this photo provided by the mobile carrier on Thursday. (KT Corp.)
KT Corp., a South Korean telecom giant, said Thursday it has commercialized standalone 5G, becoming the first mobile carrier in the country to deploy the network technology.
Although South Korean carriers first commercialized 5G networks in April 2019, they have been available on non-standalone mode, requiring support from 4G LTE.
Standalone 5G offers network services by solely using 5G frequencies, leading to lower latency and better battery life, according to KT.
The telecom operator said battery life on Samsung Electronics Co.'s Galaxy S20+ running on standalone 5G reached 13 hours and 38 minutes, one hour and 6 minutes longer than on non-standalone mode, citing testing by Seongnam-based Telecommunications Technology Association.
KT said the standalone mode is available for its users using Samsung Electronics's Galaxy S20, S20+ and S20 Ultra devices, and the carrier will work with device manufacturers to support more phones.
The carrier's move comes as South Korean telecom operators have been racing to deploy new 5G technologies and services to accelerate user migration to the latest generation networks.
As of end-May, there were 15.8 million 5G users in the country, accounting for 22 percent of total mobile subscriptions, according to ICT ministry data.
SK Telecom Co. had the most 5G users at 7.4 million, followed by KT at 4.8 million and LG Uplus Corp. at 3.6 million. (Yonhap)