Korea's three major telecom companies will become the world's first to start commercial service of the next-generation 5G wireless network.
SK Telecom, KT and LG Uplus will first provide the 5G service to corporate clients on a trial basis from Saturday before rolling it out for all smartphone users in March.
The three are poised to wrap up preparations in Seoul and six major cities.
"Work to commercialize 5G nationwide and supply safety equipment is going according to plan," an industry insider said.
The support infrastructure is being built not only in major cities but also in remote areas like the islands of Jeju, Ulleung and Dokdo.
Another industry source said, "The service will be expanded in phases so that by the end of 2019 all major cities in the country will have 5G service."
The fifth-generation network can transmit 20 times more data than the existing LTE network and is expected to play a major role in the development of multimedia technologies such as virtual and augmented reality and the infrastructure for self-driving cars and drones.