Korea loses competitiveness in 5G industry

Although South Korea was the first country in the world to launch commercial 5G services, it is China’s Huawei that dominates the global 5G equipment market.

South Korea launched the world’s first commercial 5G service in 2019. In addition, Korean smartphone manufacturers have held the highest share of the global smartphone market since 2011. However, experts point out that this success is meaningless.

Korea loses competitiveness in 5G industry

Currently, telecommunications equipment maker Huawei is dominating the global 5G equipment market.

In 2019, Huawei accounted for a market share of up to 32.6% before falling to 31.7% in 2020. Other telecommunications equipment manufacturers such as Ericsson (Sweden), Nokia (Finland) and ZTE (China) China) accounted for 29.2%, 18.7% and 11% of the global 5G device market share last year, respectively, while Samsung (South Korea) accounted for only 7.2% of the market share.

In the first quarter of this year, Samsung shipped 17 million 5G smartphones, accounting for 12.7% market share. Meanwhile, Apple, Oppo and Vivo provided 40.4 million, 21.6 million and 19.4 million 5G smartphones respectively.

According to the European Telecommunications Standards Institute (ETSI), Huawei currently has 302 important patents in the 5G industry, more than other companies. Huawei’s 5G equipment is also well-reviewed, and it’s about 30% cheaper than equipment from Samsung, Ericsson and Nokia.

Before the development of Huawei, Samsung did not sit idly by. They have made positive moves to win some big contracts in the past time.

For example, last September, Samsung signed a US$6.64 billion contract with US carrier Verizon to provide 5G equipment and solutions.

This year, they continue to sign similar contracts with Japan’s NTT Docomo and Canada’s SaskTel. Telecom operator SaskTel only used Huawei equipment for its 3G and 4G services in 2010 and 2020 but chose Samsung for its 5G services.

However, Huawei is still doing well thanks to their huge domestic market and Ericsson and Nokia are still hard to beat. Following the contract between Samsung and Verizon, Ericsson and Nokia signed similar contracts with other major US operators, namely AT&T and T-Mobile.

More recently, the US and Japan formed a partnership to invest $4.5 billion in research and development of 5G and 6G technologies. Although Chinese, European and Korean companies now account for 90% of the global 5G equipment market, NTT Docomo and Qualcomm also own 6% and 10% of 5G patents, respectively.

In the future, the US and Japan are likely to use the patents to self-develop 5G and 6G equipment and take the lead in the global market.

Phan Van Hoa(according to Businesskorea)

The world's first 5G-covered flight is coming soon

The world’s first 5G-covered flight is coming soon

To serve passengers on flights, China is testing 5G services on domestic flights and is expected to provide commercial services in the second half of this year.


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