SK Telecom said it surpassed 1 million 5G subscribers on Aug. 21 for the first time in the world. It has been 140 days since it released the world's first 5G smartphone on April 3.
This is the first time SK Telecom has become the first of the world's 28 carriers to reach the 1 million mark.
Because 'Notes 10', which was released after 'Galaxy S10 5G' and 'V50', is also gaining huge popularity from early on, it is predicted that number of 5G users will increase even faster.
SK Telecom analyzed that differentiated services such as 5G's first strategy for quality of 5G, SKT's 5G cluster that combines LTE with enhanced benefits, membership service, and special service, and Galaxy Note 10+ Blue are the main drivers of its 5G's rapid growth.
The age group of SK Telecom's 5G subscribers is also diversifying. In August, 5G subscribers were distributed evenly across the entire generation, with 16.6 percent in their 20s, 21.9 percent in their 30s, 24.9 percent in their 40s and 19.7 percent in their 50s.
After commercialization of 5G, use of data has also become active. According to SK Telecom's 5G subscriber analysis, average monthly data usage increased by about 65% from 20.4GB to 33.7GB when customers changed their devices from LTE to 5G.
SK Telecom analyzed that data use increased as users tend to watch next-generation media services such as Multi-view and 360-degree VR Ecosystem that utilize 5G's fast speed.
SK Telecom's 5G users used about 15 times more VR (Virtual Reality) than LTE users. Number of 5G customers who enjoy using contents of their VR platform "Jump VR" is also about eight times more than LTE.
Along with commercialization of 5G, there are more contents manufacturers that have entered VR industry, and supply of VR contents has also increased five times compared to before 5G commercialization.
Based on 5G, Korean companies are also leading the global market in the 5G smartphone and equipment industries.
According to U.S. mobile telecommunication equipment market analyst Dell'Oro, Samsung Electronics had 37% of total 5G telecommunication equipment sales in fourth quarter of last year and first quarter of this year, surpassing foreign telecommunication equipment manufacturers. South Korean-made smartphones such as Samsung's Galaxy S10, Note 10 and LG's V50 ThinkQ are sweeping the global 5G market.
"Although number of countries that have commercialized 5G is increasing continuously, South Korea is still the only country that has technical, infrastructure, service, and subscriber base," said Yoo Yeong-young, head of MNO Business Department at SK Telecom. "We will take the lead in expanding the global 5G ecosystem so that 5G can grow into a key industry for the future, such as the semiconductor industry."