In a back-and-forth that saw carriers on two continents put the pedal to the metal to activate mobile 5G networks ahead of schedule, SK Telecom turned up with six initial users on April 3, beating Verizon in the U.S. to the punch, albeit in a very specific way. In Korea, a sophisticated mobile market, national vendor Samsung says it is supplying the majority of 5G network infrastructure in the country.

In the three-carrier market–SK Telecom, KT and LG Uplus, Samsung says it has supplied 5G core and some 53,000 5G base stations. The Korean carriers have varying degrees of consumer and enterprise service in about 85 markets and use the 3.5 GHz band.

In addition to its core and radio equipment, Samsung has also developed 5G chipsets and smartphones. SK Telecom launched its service with the Samsung Galaxy S10 5G, which is coming later to the U.S.

“Korea is one of the first markets in the world in which the 5G experience is opening up for consumers, and we’re thrilled to play a key role in the nationwide rollout of 5G, “Paul Kyungwhoon Cheun, executive vice president and head of Networks Business at Samsung Electronics, said in a statement. “As a longstanding innovator in the 5G space and one of the few vendors offering a full end-to-end 5G solution, Samsung is at the forefront of pushing the limits of 5G and beyond.

Verizon initially planned to launch limited mobile 5G in parts of Chicago and Minneapolis on April 11 but apparently moved that up as did its Korean rivals, which deployed using a shared infrastructure model. Verizon’s launch device is the Motorola moto z3, which requires a clip-on “mod” in order to connect to Verizon’s millimeter wave spectrum.

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