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.
South Korea's three mobile operators, SK Telecom, LG Uplus and KT Corp have switched on their respective 5G networks for enterprise customers.
Telecom, KT Corp and LG Uplus have also launched commercial services to consumers. Initial coverage is reported to be heavily focused on Seoul and its surroundings.
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 Koreas three mobile operators switch on their respective 5G networks for enterprise customers,
Mobile subscriber growth is expected to be relatively low over the next five years to 2023.
KTs industrial 5G development plans focus on five main areas in collaboration with private sector companies and the government.
Report update includes the regulator's market data to December 2019, operator statistics to Q4 2019.

Companies covered in this report include:

KT; LG U+; SK Telecom.


1 Market analysis
1.1 Background
2 Mobile statistics
2.1 Mobile subscribers
2.2 Mobile broadband subscribers
3 Regulatory issues
3.1 Licensing
3.2 Subsidies
3.3 Spectrum
4 Mobile infrastructure
4.1 5G
4.2 4G
4.3 3G
4.4 2G
4.5 VoLTE
5 Major mobile operators
5.1 Operator statistics
5.2 KT Corp
5.3 SK Telecom
5.4 LG U+
5.5 MVNOs
6 Mobile content and applications
6.1 m-commerce
7 Appendix Historic data
8 Related reports
Table 1 Growth in the number of mobile subscribers and penetration 2010 2025
Table 2 Growth in the number of mobile broadband subscribers and penetration 2010 2025
Table 3 Change in mobile market share by operator 2010 2019
Table 4 Change in the number of mobile subscribers by operator 2010 2019
Table 5 Development of mobile Service ARPU per month by operator 2010 2018
Table 6 Development of KT Corp's mobile subscribers by type 2010 2019
Table 7 Development of KT Corp's mobile revenue 2015 2019
Table 8 SK Telecom mobile 3G / 4G subscribers 2010 2018
Table 9 SK Telecom smartphone subscribers 2009 2019
Table 10 SK Telecom mobile service revenue 2017 2019
Table 12 Historic - Mobile subscribers 1985 2009
Table 13 Historic - CDMA mobile subscribers by operator
Table 14 Historic - mobile market share by operator 2002 2009
Table 15 Historic - Mobile subscribers by operator 2002 2009
Table 16 Historic - Mobile Service ARPU per month by operator 2002 2009
Table 17 Historic - KT Corp's mobile subscribers by type 2004 2009
Table 18 Historic - SK Telecom mobile subscribers by type 2002 2009
Table 19 Historic - LG U+ mobile subscribers 2003 2009
Table 20 Historic - MVNO subscribers by operator 2012 2014
Chart 1 Growth in the number of mobile subscribers and penetration 2010 2025
Chart 2 Growth in the number of mobile broadband subscribers and penetration 2010 2025
Chart 3 Change in mobile market share by operator 2010 2019
Chart 4 Development of KT Corp's mobile subscribers by type 2010 2019
Chart 5 Development of KT Corp's mobile revenue 2015 2019

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