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5G to be introduced in South Korea

Internet speeds in South Korea, already among the quickest in the world, are set to get even faster with the launch of next-generation 5G wireless service.

The 1.6 trillion won (£900 million) project aims to roll out the service across the country within six years.

One thousand times faster than 4G services, full-length films can be downloaded in a single second with 5G.

"We helped fuel national growth with 2G services in the 1990s, 3G in the 2000s and 4G around 2010. Now it is time to take pre-emptive action to develop 5G," the ministry said in a statement to news agency Agence France Presse (opens in new tab).

"Countries in Europe, China and the US are making aggressive efforts to develop 5G technology ... and we believe there will be fierce competition in this market in a few years."

It is expected that a fully commercial 5G service will be ready by the end of 2020.

Related: 3G vs 4G primer: What are the major differences? (opens in new tab)

In the UK mobile phone network operators are still in the process of rolling out 4G services, though Ofcom has warned that 5G is necessary in order to avoid a "capacity crunch (opens in new tab)".

Meanwhile in China, telecoms equipment manufacturer Huawei announced at the end of last year that it would be investing at least $600 million (£372 million) towards 5G research.

As the demand for the new technology continues to grow, the company aims to have the first 5G networks ready for commercial deployment by 2020 (opens in new tab).