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LG Uplus and Qualcomm bring mmWave 5G to South Korea

Uplus switches its mmWave service on. (Source: LG)
Uplus switches its mmWave service on. (Source: LG)
South Korea was one of the first markets in which commercial 5G had become available, although the networks in question use the sub-6GHz form of the connectivity. Now, however, LG's division Uplus and Qualcomm have implemented the first mmWave alternative, intended to serve an academic campus in this country.

South Korea has had widespread 5G for over a year now, starting out on the Samsung Galaxy S10 5G and LG V50 ThinQ on their launch in this country. These services have also passed its 1-millionth-user mark some time ago. Then again, this connectivity is based on the new radio standard's sub-6GHz technology, which might restrict the choice of devices that can be used with the carriers (such as KT or SK Telecom) that support it.

However, another company in this market, LG Uplus, has started to address this issue. It, in conjunction with Qualcomm, has kicked off mmWave 5G reception on its new 28GHz network for the purpose. Then again, it has not been implemented for the general public as yet.

Instead, this network serves the Kumoh National Institute of Technology as part of its Smart Campus initiative. The idea is that any student, instructor or employee at the IT will be able to access fast, secure mobile data on any compatible laptop or phone, so long as they are located anywhere on its premises. This new infrastructure is intended to deliver remote or virtual classrooms in the near future.

Qualcomm and LG Uplus have announced that this new facility has been successfully deployed (as verified using a Snapdragon 865-based smartphone with an X55 modem) prior to its rollout across this campus. Furthermore, it may represent new and disruptive additions to the 5G market as a whole in South Korea.


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Deirdre O'Donnell, 2020-12- 9 (Update: 2020-12- 9)