By Kim Young Deok and Lee Jihae
Korea ranks second in the world in the average speed of the fifth generation (5G) mobile network.
This is according to Opensignal, a London-based mobile analytics company that released on Oct. 13 a report titled "Benchmarking the global 5G user experience – October update." In a survey of the average 5G speed in 15 leading markets for the mobile standard, Opensignal ranked Korea as the world's second fastest with 336.1 megabits per second (Mbps) after leader Saudi Arabia (377.2 Mbps).
"In all but two countries, our users see average 5G download speeds over 100 Mbps," it said.
Nos. 3-5 were Australia, Taiwan and Spain in that order, as these three all had an average speed in the 200 Mbps range. The U.S. was the lowest ranked among the 15 countries with 52 Mbps.
Korea was also fifth in 5G service availability with 22.2%. Saudi Arabia topped the list again with 37%, followed by Kuwait (27.7%), Thailand (24.9%) and Hong Kong (22.9%). The bottom three countries were the U.K. (4.4%), Spain (4.0%) and Italy (3.1%).
Korea was the world's first to launch commercial 5G service when it did so in April last year. Part of the core infrastructure of the Fourth Industrial Revolution, 5G is 20 times faster than 4G, can be connected to 10 times more devices and has a tenth of the lag time.
The technology is considered the driving force behind innovative changes in overall society, and thus major countries are engaged in fierce competition to gain dominance in the 5G ecosystem.