SEOUL—Jeon Jin-soo wants consumers to love 5G. But she understands why they’re not head over heels right now.
Ms. Jeon, a vice president at SK Telecom Co. , the largest carrier in South Korea, is tasked with designing experiences for 5G users, something she’s worked on since long before the country launched its mobile 5G network for consumers in 2019.
The key to winning over consumers, Ms. Jeon says, is showing them how to incorporate the technology into their day-to-day life. But for now there isn’t that much to show. “Right now, what’s available still falls short of taking full advantage of 5G,” she says. So far, one of the biggest differences between 4G and 5G for consumers is the improved experience in virtual-reality and augmented-reality apps because of 5G’s much faster speed.
Though South Korea has one of the highest densities of 5G users globally, with roughly one in six people in the country subscribed to the standard, carriers have faced slower-than-expected growth. Customers have been reluctant to buy into 5G, unsure of what it can be used for.
SK Telecom currently has nearly half of the country’s 5G users, with 5.5 million at the end of 2020. That’s shy of the six million to seven million the company had hoped for by now, but it is still aiming to reach nine million 5G users by the end of this year.