South Korea has announced a $1.5 billion plan to upgrade its network to 5G capability by 2020.
“We helped fuel national growth with 2G services in the 1990s, 3G in the 2000s and 4G around 2010,” the country's science ministry said in a statement Wednesday. “Now it is time to take preemptive action to develop 5G.”
The 5G-services are expected to be around 1,000 times faster than current technology — making it possible to download a full-length film in a second.
The year 2020 is also the deadline set by telecom giant Huawei for a 4G network in China, and by the E.U. for its next generation networks, but South Korea's investment far exceeds the $600 million and $950 million earmarked by the Chinese and the Europeans respectively.
Tests with the 5G technology are also being carried out in Japan and the United States.
South Korea, already the world leader in connectivity, is looking to increase its share of the infrastructure equipment industry with this ambitious roadmap. Priority is being given to developing features such as ultra-HD and hologram transmission as well as new social networking services.
Globally, the 5G network is intended to make space for an expected seven trillion connected devices in the 2020s.