SEOUL, Sept. 23 (Yonhap) -- SK Telecom Co., South Korea's largest mobile network provider, said Wednesday it aims to commercialize its 5G network on the 28-gigahertz (GHz) band by the end of this year, targeting businesses with faster network speeds.
Local telecom operators currently offer 5G on the 3.5-GHz band since commercializing the network in April last year. The 3.5-GHz band has slower speeds than the mmWave frequency band, which promises up to 20 times faster speeds than 4G LTE.
"We target to commercialize the 28-GHz band by the end of this year," Ryu Jung-hwan, SK Telecom vice president, said in a briefing. "Considering the 28-GHz band's characteristics, its is more appropriate to use it for business-to-business services."
The 28-GHz band has smaller coverage compared with the 3.5-GHz band, making enterprise applications more suitable, according to SK Telecom.
The vice president said the company is also working to deploy a stand-alone version of 5G , which would not require support from the 4G LTE network.
The stand-alone version would be focused on businesses as the current non-stand-alone version offered to 5G users has benefits, such as fast speeds.
SK Telecom has installed around 100,000 5G network facilities so far, and would need over 200,000 for a nationwide network.
The country's major telecom operators, including KT Corp. and LG Uplus Corp., have promised to spend up to 25.7 trillion won (US$22 billion) to update network infrastructure and install a nationwide 5G network by 2022.
South Korea had nearly 8 million 5G users as of July, according to the science ministry.