Korea, which has the fastest Internet and the highest smartphone penetration rate in the world, has three major mobile carriers. The penetration rate of mobile phones is 100%, and 95% of them use smartphones, and Korea is the first country to introduce 5G mobile communication technology and is leading the global smartphone market. Let’s take a look at the three major mobile carriers in South Korea that make the latest smartphones available in a fast and pleasant Internet environment, and introduce them to the frugal carriers that have recently become very popular.
SK Telecom is the number one mobile carrier in Korea, in name and reality. It is a mobile communication company operated by SK Group and has a significant share in Korea. Korea’s leading telecommunication technology company has 28,722,476 subscribers (42.1%) as of the first quarter of 2020. Since it has the largest number of subscribers in Korea, many middle-aged people have a very long subscription period and it is a mobile telecommunication company with a somewhat important image. Base stations are relatively large, with good phone quality and data quality, and can be used almost anywhere in Korea.
KT is the second mobile carrier to have many subscribers after SK Telecom, the first company to bring Apple iPhones into Korea, and still has a lot of loyal customers. The number of subscribers is 17,787,651 (26.1%) and it is a telecommunication company with a younger image than SK Telecom. Like SK Telecom, there are a lot of base stations, and they cover almost all areas through the wide area network. Personally, I think we need to make further improvements as it is not differentiated from SK Telecom, which is No. 1 or if we fail to respond to aggressive promotions of LG U+, which is No. 3 player, we will not be able to guarantee growth.
LG U+ is one of Korea’s top three mobile telecommunication companies with the smallest number of subscribers, but it is increasing its market share through various service offerings and discounts. The number of subscribers is 13,897,768 (20.5%), a significant increase in market share compared to the past. Recently, the company has been increasing the number of subscribers through various promotions. In the past, LG Group’s mobile phones were often sold by connecting them with their subscription products, and many commented that the service was somewhat poor compared to other mobile telecommunication companies, but the market share has increased significantly recently. If it improves a little more, it will be able to leap to second place.
Mobile Virtual Network Operator
All of the top three mobile carriers we introduced above offer MVNO services. It is not a service provided by each carrier, but a subsidiary or a separate corporation provides cheap mobile communication through domestic lines. The number of subscribers is 7,611,640 and the number of subscribers has been steadily increasing recently as more and more consumers want to use data and currency at a lower price. It is easy to buy and use sim cards at convenience stores. The quality of calls and data is not much lower than that of major telecommunication companies, and if you have a smartphone, you can use it very economically, so it is a telecommunication company that has been very interested in it recently. However, it is a service that I recommend if you want to use it cheaply and economically, although it is a bit less convenient than major mobile telecommunication companies.
Korea is definitely an IT powerhouse. There are many companies that offer fast and safe services from the Internet to mobile communications, and you can enjoy a variety of services in conjunction with Samsung Electronics’ flagship smartphones. Of course, you can use the fast internet and phone in Korea with Apple’s iPhone. In the past, there was much criticism for the monopoly controversy, but the recent advancement of thrifty telecommunications companies has given consumers a wide range of choices as they can enjoy quality services at a low price. If you are planning to stay in Korea for a long time, try using the products of a major telecommunication company, otherwise, the service of a MVNO will be very good and convenient.