South Korea to invest $1.5B to build 5G network by 2020

The 5G network is expected to be 1,000 times faster than the existing 4G LTE service, and will play a key role in driving South Korea's economy.

South Korea will pump 1.6 trillion won (US$1.49 billion) through 2020 with local firms to build the fifth-generation network (5G) in the country, according to Yonhap News.

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Authorities have been in talks with the country's three mobile telcos, as well as tech firms such as Samsung and LG since last May, to draw up a blueprint for the country's mobile network technology, said South Korea's communications technology ministry.

Under the plan dubbed "Creative 5G Mobile Strategy", South Korea will develop new features, which include Ultra-HD, hologram transmission and "cutting-edge" social networking services (SNS), noted the report.

The country also aims to work with global telecom authorities especially from the United States, China and Europe to establish standards for 5G, and to avoid excessive patent battles.

The first test run for the 5G network will be on SNS sites by 2015, and gradually expand to cover mobile 3D images and cloud services in 2017 at the speed of 1 gigabit per second (Gbps), according to Yonhap. This is compared with 75 megabits per second (Mbps) on the current LTE network.

The 5G network will debut full service in 2020, and will become the core infrastructure for South Korea's " creative economy " vision by connecting users with necessary information at all times. The "creative economy" is part of a key policy goal of the current government to revitalize growth and create more jobs.

Telcos such as China's Huawei , Japan's NTT Docomo , and South Korea's Samsung have also announced plans for 5G networks by 2020.