Korea's 5G Market Runs out of Steam

  • By Kim Bong-kee

    November 13, 2023 12:59

    There has been almost no increase in 5G subscribers in Korea for the first time in September since the service started here in April of 2019.
    Industry watchers blame the lack of any new incentives for 4G or LTE users to switch.
    According to the Ministry of Science and ICT, the number of 5G subscribers stood at 31.8 million in September, up only 0.9 percent from August. 
    In the early stages, 5G subscriber growth reached up to 70 percent, but that slowed down to three to five percent in 2021 and around two percent last year, and this year it barely rose above one percent.
    Some believe the market is simply saturated, but others say the remaining 4G users could still be enticed to make the switch if telecoms offered them a better deal. 
    4G subscribers still make up 58 percent of users.
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