Omdia report puts South Korea at the top of the 5G world rankings

South Korea flag over Seoul.
(Image credit: Future)

Global research company Omdia has released the latest instalment of its ‘Global 5G Progress Update’, which shows that South Korea is the leading country for 5G deployment.

The 5G research showcases how the top 22 countries fare in their attempts to roll out 5G, and South Korea came out top when it was assessed against the five criteria used in the report, which were:

  • How much spectrum been made available for 5G services?
  • Have carriers been able to launch commercial services?
  • Is there are supportive local ecosystem promoting 5G services?
  • The balance of the ranking is split equally between measurable indicators of 5G progress in the form of
  • Network coverage
  • Take-up

Omdia graph of the best countries for 5G rollout.

(Image credit: Omdia.)

"Korea is leading the way with adoption reaching 5.88 million at the end of March; approaching ten percent of wireless services in the market," the report has claimed.

"However, expansive coverage rolled out by Sunrise and Swisscom in Switzerland, Ooredoo and Vodafone in Qatar and Kuwait three service providers has rivalled Korea for breadth of market coverage."

South Korea's 5G chops

The Omdia research looked at the deployment progress of 5G, based on operator launches, network coverage, subscriber take-up as well as 5G spectrum availability and regulatory eco-system. And South Korea excelled in five key areas:

  1. Spectrum – 2,680 MHz across the 3.5 and 28 GHz bands
  2. Service launches – all three Korean service providers have commercial offerings available to the mass market, and MVNO services have been launched
  3. Network coverage – approximately 90% population coverage
  4. 5G take-up – 4.67 million 5G subscribers, or 7% of the mobile market
  5. Ecosystem – Strong government support and leading local vendor ecosystem

Based on the above results Omdia concluded that South Korea has established itself as the early market-leader for 5G technology deployment, with Kuwait and Switzerland following behind.

"The global market is steadily gearing up for 5G deployment but right now South Korea is leading the way – although markets like Switzerland have also made steady progress."

Stephen Myers, Omdia.

"The global market is steadily gearing up for 5G deployment but right now South Korea is leading the way – although markets like Switzerland have also made steady progress,” said Omdia principal analyst Stephen Myers. "Despite the COVID pandemic we are seeing governments and regulators pushing ahead with their allocation of 5G spectrum and operators continue to launch and expand 5G network coverage.

"We can expect to see a much larger number of commercial 5G launches in major global markets in the next 12-18 months as more spectrum is released across the world."

Dan Oliver

Dan is a British journalist with 20 years of experience in the design and tech sectors, producing content for the likes of Microsoft, Adobe, Dell and The Sunday Times. In 2012 he helped launch the world's number one design blog, Creative Bloq. Dan is now editor-in-chief at 5Gradar, where he oversees news, insight and reviews, providing an invaluable resource for anyone looking to stay up-to-date with the key issues facing 5G.