South Koreans can now experience a significant boost in the speed of free Wi-Fi services provided within city buses across the country, as SK Telecom has successfully converted the Wi-Fi services from LTE to 5G, achieving a fourfold increase in speed. The initiative, part of the 5G conversion project led by the Ministry of Science and ICT and the Korea Intelligent Information Society Promotion Agency (NIA), was officially unveiled at an event at the National Palace Museum on December 5.
LTE to 5G Conversion
In a press release, SK Telecom, responsible for the 2nd and 3rd phases of the project, announced that it had completed the installation of 5G backhaul-based Wi-Fi 6 or 6E equipment on 85.6 percent of buses (24,900 units) across 16 local governments. Due to this 5G conversion, bus Wi-Fi now provides stable services at 300-400 Mbps, which is about four times faster than the existing LTE backhaul.
SKT Connectivity said, "SKT is pleased to convert the existing LTE-based bus public Wi-Fi service to 5G and contribute to strengthening the quality of people's service accessibility and perceived experience. As Korea's Number 1 mobile carrier, we will actively participate in public interest-level projects that provide universal services to the public and strive to create social value."
The opening ceremony featured real-time measurements of bus Wi-Fi speeds, along with a successful group video call, illustrating the improved accessibility and user experience.
Looking ahead, SK Telecom will conduct 5G Wi-Fi AP development and pilot services with NIA using WiFi 7 technology. This development aims to provide speeds 2.4 times faster than WiFi 6, promising an even more rapid and convenient public Wi-Fi experience in the future.