World’s first 5G phone released in South Korea

Seoul: Samsung Electronics released the Galaxy S10 5G, the world’s first smartphone with built-in fifth-generation communications technology, as South Korea seeks to build a lead in the transformative system. On Wednesday the South became the first country to commercially launch nationwide 5G services, with three superfast networks going live offering data speeds that allow users to download entire movies in less than a second.

Hours later US giant Verizon began commercial services in Chicago and Minneapolis, after rival AT&T made a 5G-based system available to selected users in parts of 12 cities in December. South Korea’s three mobile carriers — SK Telecom, KT and LG Uplus — held launch events across Seoul for the Galaxy S10, whose base version costs 1.39 million won ($1,200).

Interactive virtual-reality displays and robot demonstrations were on show to tout the capabilities of the latest iteration of mobile internet speed, and new users were excited about the possibilities, especially live streaming of sports games and university lectures. “I watch a lot of videos often, movies and lectures,” said buyer Shim Ji-hye, 38. “I hope faster speeds will help me manage my time better.” Another user said he was most excited about virtual reality content — which includes games and even “celebrity VR dating” apps according to the country’s mobile carriers.

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