South Korea launched the world’s first nationwide 5G mobile networks two days early, its top mobile carriers said Thursday, in a late-night scramble to be the first providers of the super-fast wireless technology.
Three top telecom providers — SK Telecom, KT, and LG Uplus — began their 5G services at 11 pm local time Wednesday, despite previously announcing the launch date would be April 5.
Hyper-wired South Korea has long had a reputation for technical prowess, and Seoul had made the 5G rollout a priority as it seeks to stimulate stuttering economic growth.
But speculation that US mobile carrier Verizon might start its 5G services early forced South Korean providers to hastily organise a late-night launch, Yonhap news agency reported.
In the event, Verizon began rolling out its 5G services in Chicago and Minneapolis on Wednesday US time, a week ahead of schedule.
But according to Yonhap, the South Korean launches came two hours earlier.
“SK Telecom today announced that it has activated 5G services for six celebrities representing Korea as of 11 pm April 3, 2019,” the country’s biggest mobile operator said in a news release Thursday.
The celebrities — including two members of K-pop band EXO and Olympic ice-skating hero Kim Yu-na — were “the world’s first 5G smartphone subscribers”, it said.
Both KT and LG Uplus said they also went live at the same time.
For general customers, the services will be available from Friday — the previous launch date — when Samsung Electronics rolls out the Galaxy S10 5G, the world’s first available smartphone using the technology.
Verizon’s system will work with Lenovo’s Moto Z3 smartphone, while rival US carrier AT&T deployed what it called its 5G E network in 12 cities last year — although it is slower than other 5G systems and questions have been raised over whether it is fully fifth-generation.
Experts say 5G will bring smartphones near-instantaneous connectivity — 20 times faster than 4G — allowing users to download entire movies in less than a second.
The technology is crucial for the future development of devices such as self-driving vehicles and is expected to bring about $565 billion in global economic benefits by 2034, according to the London-based Global System for Mobile Communications, an industry alliance.
‘Dangerous linguistic power’: A historian explains how Trump weaponizes nicknames
Is Donald Trump the modern day Earl Long?
A three-time Louisiana governor, Long mastered the art of political ridicule seven decades ago by weaponizing nicknames. The hilarious names Long pinned on his rivals, and the rollicking stories he told about them, riveted audiences bored by puffed-up rhetoric.
While Long’s stunts may be remembered as silly hijinks, there was a sly, often deadly serious, purpose to his technique. He used it to get voters to laugh at his foes and to put them on the defensive––a place politicians never want to be. Tucked within Long’s jests were razor-sharp attacks aimed at exploiting opposition weaknesses––hidden swords inside a pea-patch cloak.
Walmart got a $2.2 billion tax cut — now it’s laying off workers
Walmart announced it will lay off hundreds of workers in North Carolina despite receiving billions in tax cuts that the Republican Party and President Trump claimed would spur job growth.
The giant retailer will lay off about 570 employees and close its corporate office near the Charlotte airport, despite signing a 12-year lease just four years earlier, the Charlotte Business Journal reported.
The work done at the Charlotte facility will be outsourced to a firm in Arkansas, according to the report.
Amazon, Google and Facebook warrant antitrust scrutiny for many reasons – not just because they’re large
There’s a growing chorus of U.S. politicians, antitrust scholars and consumer watchdogs calling for stricter antitrust treatment of Amazon, Google, Facebook and other tech giants. Some even say they should be broken up.
Most recently, U.S. lawmakers launched a sweeping review to determine if these companies have become so big and powerful that they are stifling competition and harming consumers, while federal regulators are also gearing up to take action.