Lobbyists coined the term “the race to 5G”. If there ever was such a race, South Korea won it as unlike other markets there are – read on – many reported numbers to support a leadership claim. With 4.7 million 5G subscriptions by the end of 2019, 7% of Korea’s mobile subscribers used 5G just nine months after launch.
The subscriber take-up has been fast, but not linear. In August, September and October, when Samsung launched three new 5G smartphones (Note 10, A90 and Fold) and LG updated its V50 smartphone, 5G sales was exceptionally fast. During November and December no new smartphones were introduced and South Korea missed the expectation of 5 million 5G subscribers by year end 2019.
We look at what happened to the MVNO businesses when Orange, SFR and Bouygues launched their sub-brands Sosh, Red and B&YOU during second half of 2011 in preparation for the announced launch of Free mobile.
MVNOs were once the challengers typically differentiating through targeted segmentation or price – or both. With the emergence of MNO sub-brands one could fear for what happens to MVNOs in a market.