South Korean wireless carrier KT is set to start commercializing 5G connectivity 12 months from now, having confirmed plans to being deployment in March of 2019. The company's network chief Oh Seong-mok specifically referred to the upcoming buildout as being aimed at enabling true mobile service and not a fixed wireless access solution that some telecom giants like Verizon have been pursuing in other parts of the world. Mr. Oh referred to FWA as a step backward because such technologies have already been explored in the past, suggesting KT won't be committing any significant resources to their applications going forward.
On the subject of wireless networks, the industry veteran asserted KT is pursuing "perfect 5G" with new infrastructure meant to raise the bar of what consumers expect from contemporary mobile service and deliver major improvements across the board. Network consistency is a crucial aspect of 5G as "true" next-generation connectivity can only be achieved "when coverage is guaranteed," Mr. Oh said. KT may become the world's first telecom giant to offer consumer-ready 5G service on a significant scale, with the outcome of the current wireless race still being uncertain. Other network operators in the Far Eastern country such as SK Telecom are also pursuing 5G commercialization in an aggressive manner, as are the four largest wireless carriers in the United States.
KT didn't make any commitments in regards to 5G-enabled consumer electronics, having suggested the onus is on original equipment manufacturers to deliver them in time to take advantage of early next-generation infrastructure. ZTE and Samsung are presently expected to be the first two vendors to offer such products, with both of them previously hinting their initial 5G smartphones will be released by early 2019. In case of Samsung, such handsets are likely to launch as the successors to the Galaxy S9 and Galaxy S9 Plus, with the firm's mobile chief recently indicating the company may end up rebranding the series and not advertise its first 2019 Android flagships as the Galaxy S10 and Galaxy S10 Plus.