First commercial 5G video call made using a Samsung smartphone

Major carriers in South Korea have launched their commercial 5G networks. A Samsung smartphone was used to make the first video call on the network. We have previously seen the company’s equipment being used to test 5G networks in controlled conditions. This call was placed on SK Telecom’s commercial 5G network.

SK Telecom, KT and LG Uplus have all launched their commercial 5G networks in South Korea. However, service is only available for enterprise customers right now. That’s because 5G smartphones won’t hit the market until March next year. That’s when the average user will be able to experience this next-generation network technology.

Samsung smartphone used for the first commercial 5G video call in South Korea

The commercial 5G network launched in South Korea covers 13 major cities so far. Seoul, Juju Island, Seongnam, Hwaseong and others are on the list. The carriers have vowed to expand the network further across the country before the smartphones arrive in 2019.

SK Telecom CEO Park Jung-ho marked the occasion by making the first 5G video call on the carrier’s commercial network. The call was made from SK Telecom’s network control center in Bundang, Gyeonggi Province to a staff manager in its Myeong-dong office in central Seoul. A prototype 5G smartphone from Samsung was used to make this video call. Samsung’s mobile boss DJ Koh said that “Samsung Electronics and SK Telecom worked closely together to speed up commercialization of 5G.”

It would be stretching the truth a fair bit to suggest that this was a prototype of the 5G Galaxy S10. The device actually looks more like a Galaxy S9+. That doesn’t really matter. Rather, this is an indication that Samsung’s technology for bringing 5G support to smartphones works.

Samsung’s first 5G smartphone is expected to arrive in March 2019. The company is reportedly going to release a separate model of the Galaxy S10 with 5G support. It would obviously be released only in markets where 5G networks have gone live. Customers in the United States would get it as well. Carriers there are expected to launch their 5G networks early next year.

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