Global Economy

Telecom giants launch 5G roaming service for South Korea and Switzerland

Visitors walk past an advertisement for the SK Telecom Co. at the World IT Show 2018 in Seoul, South Korea on May 23, 2018.

SeongJoon Cho | Bloomberg | Getty Images

SK Telecom and Swisscom have formed a strategic partnership to offer their users a 5G roaming service in South Korea and Switzerland.

In an announcement Tuesday, SK Telecom said that, under the arrangement, customers with a Samsung Galaxy S10 5G would be able to use a 5G roaming service via Swisscom when in Switzerland. The service will be activated once users download their device’s latest software update.

Prior to today’s announcement on 5G, the companies worked together on a roaming partnership in 2013. Swisscom is aiming to expand its 5G coverage to 90% of Switzerland’s population by the end of 2019. 

In its own statement, a Swisscom spokesperson said that customers with 5G-enabled phones would be able to access 5G networks in South Korea and Finland.

The service in Finland — via an agreement with Finnish telecoms firm Elisa — will be available from Wednesday, while the one in South Korea will be activated before the end of this month.

5G refers to the fifth generation of mobile networks and promises cell phone users incredibly fast browsing experiences. It will also impact other markets, including the autonomous vehicle sector, through its ability to process reams of information and data simultaneously and quickly.

This year has seen major telecoms companies launch 5G networks. At the beginning of July, for instance, Vodafone launched its 5G service in the U.K. It has also said that, over the summer, 5G roaming will be rolled out to customers from the U.K., Germany, Italy and Spain. In practice, this means that these Vodafone users will be able to use 5G roaming — where available — when visiting these different countries.

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