NEW YORK / SEOUL (Reuters) – When triumphing in the billion-dollar world championship to launch the world's first 5G next-generation wireless network, the winner is ready … depending on who you ask.
FILE PHOTO: People take pictures during a launch ceremony for SK Telecom's 5G service in Seoul, South Korea on April 3, 2019. Reuters / Kim Hong-Ji / File Photo
Earlier Wednesday in South Korea, Reuters published a story with quoted South Korean officials declaring victory over the US and China as the site of the world's first commercial launch of a fifth generation telecom network.
They claimed that the new network was connected to a 5G phone. US airlines disputed South Korea's claim to be first.
After the play was published, AT & T Inc and Verizon Communications Inc stepped up their resentment on South Korea's post-publishing communications bounce sent to Reuters on Wednesday.
AT & T said it was a victory because it announced on December 18 that it was planning to launch its 5G network in 12 US cities that month. However, the network is only available to consumers using a mobile hotspot device, not on 5G phones.
First, Verizon opposed that it had come first. Hours after the Reuters report, it said it had already launched its 5G network and that it would be available on a new Motorola phone – only in Chicago and Minneapolis.
"We stand by our story," said a Reuters spokeswoman.
The intensity of company representatives disputing each other's allegations underscores the high stakes in the struggle for supremacy over an industry expected to spend $ 275 billion. Dollars over seven years alone in the US, according to Accenture's estimates.
The winner is seen as a central role in helping to generate approx. $ 12.3 billion in annual revenue across a wide range of industries by 2035, according to IHS Markit.
The technology, which can provide data rates at least 20 times faster than 4G, will also support the major advances in the next era, from self-driving cars and magnified reality to smart cities and artificial intelligence.
"Being first is important in our industry and we want that recognition," said an AT&T spokesman, adding that the company spent $ 130 billion over the past five years to upgrade its network.
Some experts point out that jockeying will mean little to consumers. "The reason you get the reaction is that this is a struggle for the marketing of vaporware instead of real networking," said Craig Moffett, telecommunications and communications analyst at MoffettNathanson.
"They stumble upon themselves to claim they have a 5G network," he said. "But we are many years away from what has any impact on user experiences."
Falling rights aside, being first is a matter of national pride. So excited was US President Donald Trump to dominate the telecommunications future, inventing a technology that doesn't yet exist – 6G – on a Feb 21 tweet.
"I want 5G, and even 6G, technology in the US as soon as possible. It's far more powerful, faster, and smarter than the current standard. US companies need to increase their efforts or be left behind," he tweeted. The White House did not respond promptly to a request for comment.
RACE TO LAUNCH
South Korea's airlines had announced plans to launch their 5G network by Friday.
But at 5 pm local time Wednesday words began spreading that the verizon planned a surprising debut of its own 5G network as early as Thursday a whole week prior to its original scheduled schedule, an official in South Korea's Ministry of Science and ICT told Reuters.
To win the victory from Verizon's jaws, South Korean carriers ran counter-clockwise and went in for collectively light the country's 5G network only six hours after finding out about Verin's plans, the official who refused to be named.
South Korean carriers, including SK Telecom and KT Corp, changed the switch at. 11.00 local time (1400 GMT / 1000 EST), almost an hour prior to when Verizon confirmed that it had launched in the two markets in the US at. EST (1455 GMT).
"It's a pretty big deal for all mobile operators that can be called the world's first," said the Ministry of Science Minister.
About why Verizon accelerated its launch schedule by one week, a Verizon spokesman said the network was ready. "Our customers were excited and ready to use 5G," spokesman added.
Reporting by Kenneth Li in New York and Ju-Min Park in Seoul; Further reporting by Angela Moon in New York; Editing by Rosalba O & B; Brien