[Bestbuy618 Mobile Channel] In July and August, we had our first taste of the 5G network in Beijing. But, objectively speaking, at a time when four 5G phones have been officially released, it’s not easy to find a stable and reliable 5G coverage point, so much so that in order to experience the 5G network first, journalists from major media had to search everywhere for a quality “5G test site.” So what about South Korea, which has officially entered 5G in the first half of the year?
Background on 5G in Korea In early April of this year, the country’s three major operators launched commercial 5G networks. As of today, the number of 5G subscribers in Korea has reportedly surpassed 2 million, with SKT, the country’s largest operator, alone having over one million.
5G Samsung Galaxy S10
In terms of terminals, the 5G phones currently on the market in Korea are primarily the Samsung Galaxy S10 5G, LG V50 ThinQ, and Samsung Galaxy Note 10 5G, as well as several other models, with the earliest listed Galaxy S10 5G breaking one million sales as early as June this year.
During the test, we used the Galaxy S10 5G version of the SKT 5G SIM card, and we experienced 5G at several test sites, primarily in Seoul, Korea. (The video shows a section from the Shilla Hotel to Myeongdong) During the test, there were occasional cases of “fake 5G” (the test was only at 4G speed level), but such cases were definitely a minority among the dozens of tests during the entire test, and what is shown in the video is the daily routine during the test. Although there is no particularly outstanding rate performance, it is clear that 5G coverage is already in place in most areas of Seoul, and users can enjoy an almost “seamless” 5G network, whether in downtown areas like Myeongdong or in more remote areas.
Why is it almost? Because 5G coverage is still insufficient in the indoor environment; most of the time, it displays LTE (4G), with an occasional 5G display, but the actual experience is poor.
As we all know, the 5G network is primarily based on high frequency propagation, which necessitates a higher density of base stations than the 4G network. Even in South Korea, where 5G has been commercially available for half a year, general coverage has only been achieved in major cities, and complete 5G coverage will not be possible overnight. Similar to the current domestic, the 5G network in South Korea in the early stages of commercialization of 5G has been subject to various user complaints, 5G signal is difficult to find, 5G rate can not reach the situation is also repeatedly mentioned, the main reason for this is the battery life experience.
I did not migrate high frequency applications such as WeChat to the Galaxy S10 5G as a test machine, but I did use this Galaxy S10 5G for speed measurement, web browsing, hotspot sharing, and other work. In practice, the Galaxy S10 5G delivered a reasonably satisfactory performance for the power consumption that we were interested in.
Its power loss after half a day of normal use (about 4.5 hours) is only about 40%, indicating that a day of use is not a problem, and the role of the large 4500mAh battery in this performance cannot be overlooked.
We are here to throw cold water on domestic users after experiencing the 5G network in South Korea. The country’s upcoming commercial 5G network is likely to face the same embarrassment as South Korea did in the early stages. Although several major carriers have stated that commercialization of 5G will begin this month, and there are currently four 5G phones available in the country, network coverage shows that, aside from a few iconic test sites, 5G coverage and rate in most areas is not as good as it should be. From the standpoint of operators, this is not difficult to understand; after all, 5G construction and base station investment require extremely high costs, making it nearly “impossible” to achieve short-term success overnight.
However, for consumers, it is more likely to be “to take pleasure in coming, failure to return.” I also reminded them here hope the first time and 5G to a close contact with friends, even if they have grabbed the desired 5G phone, but still have to do a full psychological quasi-test. After all, Rome was not built in a day, and ascending to heaven in 5G is not possible in a single step.