Well, ‘G’ whiz: South Korea banking on 5G development

CNN Tech is reporting that South Korea is dropping $1.5 billion into upgrades to its wireless network that will substantially increase connectivity speed for its mobile communications there.

South Korea’s science ministry put its intentions this way:

“We helped fuel national growth with 2G services in the 1990s, 3G in the 2000s and 4G around 2010. Now it is time to take preemptive action to develop 5G … Countries in Europe, China and the US are making aggressive efforts to develop 5G technology … and we believe there will be fierce competition in this market in a few years.”

It’s the next tech step for a country that is the most wired in the world, where 82.7 percent of the population is on the Internet and 78.5 percent of South Koreans owns a smartphone. This is a country where almost everyone ages 18 to 24 — 97.7 percent — has a smartphone.

But don’t turn in your 4G mobile device yet. South Korea is taking its time, with a trial rollout for a 5G network planned for no earlier than 2017.

That’s a long time in tech years.