In what seems to be a sudden turn of events, South Korea’s plans to launch 5G networks in the month of March seems to have got stuck and it seems that the rollout will now face delays as the main players are not ready to meet the schedule, according to a report by ZDNet.
What makes the possibility of delay more embarrassing is the fact that it comes after minister You Young Min had told reporters at Mobile World Congress (MWC) that the rollout of 5G networks will start in the last week of March.
It seems that a number of factors have resulted in the delay and postponement of the rollout of the networks. Some of the main reasons include a lack of consensus between the telecom companies and government on the price structure for customers and also the readiness of smartphone manufacturers LG and Samsung.
SK Telecom, one of South Korea’s leading telecom company came out with a $62 per month plan for the customers which was outrightly rejected by the government, citing the price to be too high.
One of the leading smartphone manufacturers in the world, LG is still not yet ready to launch its handset as it depends on Qualcomm for its 5G modem chips and this is also one of the main reasons for the delay. Qualcomm is expected to supply the chips only in May when it is scheduled for launch in the U.S. and LG is planning to release its LG’s V50 ThinQ,–which is its first 5G model around the same time.
Samsung is also expected to follow suit and will delay the launch of its 5G devices. The initial deadline was put in place to counter China’s growing clout in the 5G arena which is challenging South Korea’s dominance in the smartphone and related hardware space.