South Korean Carriers Will Share 5G Costs & Infrastructure

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According to new reports from the region, South Korea's Ministry of Science, ICT and Future Planning has now revealed that the countries carriers will be sharing the responsibility of building out the nation's 5G network infrastructure. What's more, once that infrastructure is completed, they will also be sharing in its use. While that may sound counter-intuitive, that will basically result in only enough infrastructure being built as is necessary to support each of the carriers and at least one ISP that is also taking part. It could also mean future cooperation when expansions on that network are needed. That means that there will be a reduction in unnecessary infrastructure redundancy and in overall costs. In fact, the overall savings, according to officials in the region, could come out to around 1 trillion won – or around $938 million in USD – over a ten year period. Companies taking part in the build-out will include SK Telecom Co., KT Corp., LG Uplus Inc., and SK Broadband Inc.

The Ministry of Science, ICT, and Future Planning, meanwhile, has not released its own estimates for the cost of the infrastructure or how costs will be split – let alone how much the overall savings might be. However, the collaboration may not only be helpful in saving money. In the broader scope of the situation, the carriers working together may accelerate the rollout of 5G networking capabilities at a much higher rate than might otherwise be possible. That acceleration is another key aspect of the new partnership, as various countries around the globe continue competing to be the first to roll out the technology on a wider scale. According to one senior ICT official at the ministry, the goal is for South Korea to be the leader of a "fourth industrial revolution."

In the meantime, testing of 5G networking has continued in earnest around the world, as has the construction of plenty of infrastructure in preparation for that. This year's mobile events seeming to reflect that, as the focus seems to have shifted almost entirely to center around the new networks. Meanwhile, even device and technologies manufacturers appear to be intensifying efforts into new innovations that will take advantage of 5G almost explicitly. So this latest news is really just one step closer to the real-world realization of next-generation networking.

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