Verizon was supposed to start the service in Chicago and Minneapolis next week for Motorola phones but chose to turn on the service a week ahead of schedule. With speeds up to roughly 20 times faster than 4G networks, consumers on a 5G network can download a full season of a TV show in minutes, play graphics-rich cloud games, stream 4K video with virtually no lag and enjoy enhanced VR and AR experiences.
However, the South Korean 5G services were initially available only to a few individuals selected as brand promoters, including figure skating superstar Yuna Kim, who SK Telecom announced as one of its "first customers". 5G service will be available to common customers from April 5.
US telco AT&T Inc said it was the first to launch a "commercial and standards-based" 5G network in December 2018.
Sometimes it can offer 100-times faster speeds. The 5G version of the smartphone began to be sold in South Korea on Wednesday.
SK Telecom is working with its memory-chip to build a highly digitized and connected factory powered by 5G technology, and they expect about 1 million 5G customers by end-2019. South Korea's top telecom companies said on Thursday that they started 5G services nationally on Wednesday two days before the scheduled date.
"We are at the beginning of a new era where the incredible speed and connectivity of 5G becomes a reality, bringing the world closer to Samsung's vision of connected living", said DJ Koh, president and CEO of IT & Mobile Communications Division, Samsung Electronics.
Smaller rival KT Corp is set to offer cheaper plans than its LTE service, with unlimited data and four-year instalments to buy 5G devices.
LG Electronics Inc plans to release its 5G smartphone in South Korea later this month. The Galaxy S10 Plus is not the first to have five cameras so we took it and the LG V40 out shooting to see which performs best.
He added that the company uses advanced technology to block eavesdropping or hacking into 5G networks. The country has one of the world's top smartphone penetration rates.