SK Telecom has vowed to offer the widest availability of 5G in the world by announcing its plans to launch 5G roaming services across 20 countries by 2020.
The South Korean telco in July launched its first 5G roaming service in Switzerland, which is a popular tourist destination for South Koreans.
By the end of this year, it expects to roll out the service to four more countries where 5G is already available. SK Telecom added that its 5G roaming services will then be expanded to 20 countries in 2020, with the United States, China, and Japan to be among the countries where the services will be available.
Since the roaming service went live, 3,000 tourists have accessed 5G in Switzerland, it said.
SK Telecom is currently testing 5G roaming in 10 countries that are frequently visited by South Koreans.
Separately, the telco has already begun research and development for 5G Standalone (SA) roaming, which would offer even faster data transfer rates and ultra-low latency.
5G SA networks are expected to become commercially available in South Korea sometime next year, but currently, only 5G Non-Standalone (NSA) networks can be accessed by consumers.
The telco has also vowed it would expand the installation of 5G radio stations in South Korea in order to offer quality 5G networks to foreigners visiting the country.
Its rival, KT, similarly launched its own 5G roaming service in Switzerland, Italy, and Finland last month.
The two companies will combine their resources to create eSports contents and manage sports teams.
Koreans visiting Switzerland will be able to stay connected to 5G wireless networks.
SK Telecom and Ericsson have completed testing of telecommunications using purely 5G handsets, radio stations, and cores.
5G subscribers of KT can now continue to stay connected in Italy, Switzerland, and Finland.
Global 5G users projected to reach 1.5B by 2024 (TechRepublic)
With 5G technology expected to hit the ground running in 2020, widespread adoption of the service will follow.