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South Korea - Mobile Infrastructure, Broadband, Operators - Statistics and Analyses

South Korea - Mobile Infrastructure, Broadband, Operators - Statistics and Analyses

Mobile subscriber growth has been moderate in mobile market over the past five years. The market has been driven by organic growth from the three main mobile operators, together with the multitude of niche MVNOs. Mobile subscriber growth is expected to be relatively low over the next five years to 2023. Growth rates will taper off further over the next few years as the market further matures in a highly competitive market. The market will be driven by the uptake of both 4G and 5G services.

Auctions for sale of spectrum suitable for the planned deployment of 5G technology occurred in July 2018. All three incumbent mobile network operators acquired new frequencies.

On December 1st 2018, South Korea's three mobile operators, SK Telecom, LG Uplus and KT Corp, switched on their respective 5G networks for enterprise customers, with a consumer service not expected to go live until March 2019.

KT's industrial 5G development plans focus on five main areas in collaboration with private sector companies and the government to develop 5G services for both business-to-business (B2B) and business-to-government (B2G) sectors.

The mobile broadband subscriber base in South Korea has grown moderately over the past five years in a relatively mature market supported by widespread rollouts of 4G infrastructure. Slower growth is predicted over the next five years to 2023.

Key Developments

South Korea's three mobile operators switched on their respective 5G networks for enterprise customers,

Mobile subscriber growth is expected to be relatively low over the next five years to 2023.

KT's industrial 5G development plans focus on five main areas in collaboration with private sector companies and the government.

Companies covered in this report include:

KT; LG U+; SK Telecom.


1. Synopsis
2. Market Overview and Analysis
3. Background
4. Mobile statistics
4.1 Mobile Subscribers and Forecasts
4.1.1 Smartphones
4.2 Mobile Broadband Subscribers and Forecasts
5. Regulatory issues
5.1 Licensing5.2 Subsidies5.3 Spectrum
5.3.1 Spectrum auctions: 1.2GHz, 1.8GHz and 800MHz
5.3.2 Additional spectrum allocation5.3.3 Spectrum Auctions - 20165.3.4 5G Spectrum Auctions - 2018
6. Mobile infrastructure
6.1 Digital networks
6.1.1 Code Division Multiple Access (CDMA)
6.1.2 Wideband CDMA (WCDMA)6.1.3 LTE6.1.4 LTE-Advanced (LTE-A)6.1.5 5G
6.2 Other infrastructure developments
6.2.1 VoLTE
7. Major mobile operators
7.1 Operator statistics7.2 KT Corp7.3 SK Telecom
7.3.1 Overview
7.3.2 Next Generation Growth Strategy7.3.3 SK Planet
7.4 LG U+
7.5 MVNOs
8. Mobile content and applications
8.1 m-commerce
8.1.1 App-based m-payment
9. Related reports
Table 1 Mobile Subscribers and Penetration (with Forecast) 2008 - 2023Table 2 Historic - Mobile subscribers 1985 - 2006Table 3 Historic - Smart phone subscribers and market shareTable 4 Historic - Smart phone and tablet PC subscribers and market share 2010 2015Table 5 Mobile Broadband Subscribers and Penetration (with Forecast) 2009 - 2023Table 6 Historic - CDMA mobile subscribers by operatorTable 7 Mobile subscribers by operator 2002 - 2018Table 8 Mobile market share by operator 2002 - 2018Table 9 Mobile Service ARPU per month by operator 2002 - 2018Table 10 KT Corp's mobile subscribers by 3G / 4G 2004 - 2018Table 11 Historic - SK Telecom mobile 3G / 4G subscribers 2002 - 2018Table 12 SK Telecom smartphone subscribers 2009 - 2018Table 13 LG U+ mobile subscribers 2003 - 2018Table 14 Historic - MVNO subscribers by operator 2012 - 2014Chart 1 Mobile Subscribers and Penetration (with Forecast) 2008 - 2023Chart 2 Mobile Broadband Subscribers and Penetration (with Forecast) 2008 - 2023

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