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    Jan 23, 2014

    Download a movie in just 1sec with 5G


    SOUTH Korea, already one of the most wired countries on earth, yesterday announced a 1.6-trillion-won (S$1.9-billion) plan to roll out a next-generation 5G wireless service quick enough to download full-length films in a second.

    The Science Ministry said that it aims to implement the technology - about 1,000 times faster than the 4G services currently available - within six years.

    "We helped fuel national growth with 2G services in the 1990s, 3G in the 2000s and 4G around 2010. Now, it is time to take pre-emptive action to develop 5G," the ministry said in a statement.

    "Countries in Europe, and China and the United States are making aggressive efforts to develop 5G technology...and we believe there will be fierce competition in this market in a few years," it said.

    The technology will allow users to download a 800MB movie file in a second, compared with 40sec using 4G, the ministry said, adding that such speeds would help South Korean firms win overseas deals.

    A trial 5G service will be rolled out in 2017, and a fully commercial service in December 2020.

    Priority will be placed on developing key features for the new network, including ultra-HD and hologram transmissions as well as cutting-edge social-networking services.

    Related industries will be able to rack up sales of 5G-related devices and infrastructure equipment worth 331 trillion won from 2020 to 2026, the ministry estimated.

    The government hopes to implement the plan with investment and cooperation from operators such as SK Telecom and Korea Telecom, as well as handset makers like Samsung and LG.

    It also aims to expand the telecom infrastructure-equipment industry, which is relatively weaker than the mighty mobile-device sector.

    Led by Samsung - the world's top handset maker - South Korea has a leading 30 per cent stake in the global mobile-device market.

    Seoul intends to take a stake of up to 20 per cent in the world's telecom infrastructure-equipment market by 2020, according to the ministry.