There are two types of operators when it comes to 5G: Those who act and those who wait.
Management of the latter type are often quoted saying that it’s within B2B that 5G will make a difference. It seems to be an excuse for not taking any action on B2C – or even for not taking any 5G action at all.
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.
Tefficient’s 24th public analysis on the development and drivers of mobile data ranks 115 operators based on average data usage per SIM, total data traffic and revenue per gigabyte in 1H 2019.
The data usage per SIM grew for all; everybody climbed our Christmas tree. More than half of the operators could turn that data usage growth into ARPU growth– for the first time a majority is in green. Read our analysis to see who delivered on “more for more” – and who didn’t.
Speaking of which, we take a closer look at the development of one of the unlimited powerhouses –Taiwan. Are people getting tired of mobile data?
We also provide insight into South Korea– the world’s leading 5G market. Just how much effect did 5G have on the data usage?
Nowhere else in the world will you find as many 5G users as in South Korea. Nowhere else will you find as many 5G base stations up and running. If there ever was a race to 5G, the Korean government and industry won it.
Seeing is believing: After having dug up, read and compiled all reporting and data on Korea’s mobile business there was no other way forward than to seeing it for ourselves and interview people involved in creating Korea’s ‘5G wonder’.
We spent eight busy days (11-18 July) in Seoul to finish a comprehensive 106-page analysis – full of graphs and photos – with recommendations for European operators.
Two years ago, telcos were still proudly reporting their progress in utilisation of their own public Wi-Fi hotspots for cost efficient offloading of mobile data. Public Wi-Fi was also positioned as an investment in a better customer experience – especially in public indoor environments. Telcos that were late with 4G – such as in Taiwan and Belgium – could utilise their public Wi-Fi to bridge the transition from 3G to 4G.