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South Korea puts UK to shame as 4G overtakes 3G

41 per cent of mobile phone users in South Korea are now connected to a 4G network, the country's government has revealed.

As of the end of June, a total of 22.9 million people in the country are subscribed to LTE services, just two years after the technology was first introduced.

The data, compiled by the science ministry also showed that uptake of 4G is happening fast.

In June, 2.19 million people took up a LTE subscription, whilst the 3G figure fell by 600,000 from 22.7 million to 22.1 million, meaning that 4G use has now overtaken 3G in South Korea.

The largest LTE operator in the country is SK Telecom with 11 million subscribers followed by KT with 6.05 million and LG Uplus with 5.89 million.

South Korea's advanced uptake of LTE services streaks ahead of the UK, where EE is currently the only carrier which offers 4G LTE (opens in new tab).

Despite announcing this week that 60 per cent of the population is now covered by the network (opens in new tab), EE has just 687,000 4G users, that's just 2.5 per cent of its 27 million customers, and a tiny fraction of phone users in the UK.

It was also revealed this week that South Korea is leading the way with static broadband (opens in new tab). According to Akamia's State of the Internet (opens in new tab) report, South Koreans enjoy the fastest broadband in the world, with an average speed of 14.2Mbps.

In the UK, despite a 41 per cent year on year increase, the average home and business receives just 7.9Mbps.

Image credit: Flickr (LGEPR (opens in new tab))

Tomas is co-founder of Lucky Pilgrim, a team of journalists, photographers and art directors who connect brands to audiences through words, imagery and design. He was formerly editorial director at Chapel and managing editor at Courier magazine, and was a writer for ITProPortal as well as The Independent, EastLondonLines, The Sunday Times Magazine, and Croon.