South Korea

Mobile Network Experience Report
June 2022

Opensignal is the independent global standard for analyzing consumer mobile experience. Our industry reports are the definitive guide to understanding the true experience consumers receive on wireless networks.

Author: Ian Fogg, VP Analysis Data Collection Period: Feb 01 - May 01, 2022

South Korea

Mobile Network Experience Report
June 2022

Opensignal is the independent global standard for analyzing consumer mobile experience. Our industry reports are the definitive guide to understanding the true experience consumers receive on wireless networks.

Author: Ian Fogg, VP Analysis

Data Collection Period: Feb 01 - May 01, 2022

Key Findings

SK telecom wins Download Speed Experience

The average overall download speed our SK telecom users experienced was 127.8 Mbps. No operator outside of South Korea has scored above the 100 Mbps mark in an Opensignal report for Download Speed Experience. This time, LG U+ and KT were a little way behind the winner, but with still impressive scores of 94.7 Mbps and 96.6 Mbps, respectively.

With 464.1 Mbps, SK telecom wins the 5G Download Speed award

Using 5G, both our LG U+ and our SK telecom users saw average 5G download speeds over 400 Mbps but SK telecom wins with 464.1 Mbps ahead of LG U+'s score of 434.1 Mbps. Both these scores are over three and a half times faster than the overall average download speeds experienced by our users on each operator.

LG U+ wins Upload Speed Experience

With overall average upload speeds of 19.1 Mbps our LG U+ users had the fastest experience in South Korea. SK telecom was second placed with a score of 17.8 Mbps while our KT users saw average speeds of 14.1 Mbps. Upload speed is important for posting photos or videos to social media or for sharing office documents. However, SK telecom wins the award for 5G Upload Speed.

SK telecom wins both overall and 5G Video Experience

All three operators rated as Very Good (65-75) for overall mobile video streaming but SK telecom wins the award with 71.2 points ahead of KT's 69.1 and LG U+ score of 67.5. Using 5G, all three operators rated as Excellent (75 or above) with scores of 79.5 for winner SK telecom, 78 for KT and 77.4 for LG U+.

Users saw 5G services in the most locations with SK telecom, but KT joint wins 5G Availability

With a score of seven on a 10 point scale, SK telecom wins the 5G Reach award, ahead of KT and LG U+ which both had scores of 6.6. 5G Reach represents the proportion of locations where users experience 5G. However, when we consider the time users spent connected to 5G — 5G Availability — KT and SK telecom jointly win the award with statistically tied scores of 32.1% and 31.6% of time. Impressively, although LG U+ is in third place, its users still had an active 5G connection over one quarter of the time (27.2%).

The most consistent experience was using SK telecom

When we consider two measures for the consistency of the experience for basic or more advanced applications, SK telecom wins both awards. On Excellent Consistent Quality, the highest proportion of users' tests that passed the minimum thresholds for more advanced applications was on SK telecom's network with a score of 88.8%. Similarly, on Core Consistent Quality, SK telecom lead the way, with a score of 91.7%, with KT (89.5%) and LG U+ (88.5%) chasing.

Mobile Experience Awards

June 2022, South Korea Report
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Market Overview

There were over 22 million 5G subscribers in South Korea at the end of March 2022 which represented a penetration rate of 45%, served by 215,000 5G base stations. South Korea is one of the most advanced 5G markets in the world, and the scores of South Korea's operators in this report highlight the extent of 5G success.

In this report Opensignal publishes both 5G and overall results together for the first time. Also, we add two award categories which quantify the consistency of the mobile experience — Excellent and Core Consistent Quality.

Overall Experience
5G Experience
Coverage
Consistency
Video Experience
Games Experience
Voice App Experience
Download Speed Experience
Upload Speed Experience
All Users
5G Users
Video Experience
in 0-100 points
KT
69.1
LG U+
67.5
SK telecom
71.2
0 19 38 57 76
The brackets represent confidence intervals.
Read why confidence intervals are important.
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Video Experience – 5G Users
in 0-100 points
KT
73.7
LG U+
71.2
SK telecom
75.3
0 20 40 60 80
The brackets represent confidence intervals.
Read why confidence intervals are important.
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All Users
5G Users
Games Experience
in 0-100 points
KT
86.3
LG U+
87.2
SK telecom
87.6
0 22.5 45 67.5 90
The brackets represent confidence intervals.
Read why confidence intervals are important.
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Games Experience – 5G Users
in 0-100 points
KT
86.3
LG U+
86.4
SK telecom
88.1
0 22.5 45 67.5 90
The brackets represent confidence intervals.
Read why confidence intervals are important.
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All Users
5G Users
Voice App Experience
in 0-100 points
KT
83.2
LG U+
83.3
SK telecom
83.1
0 21.5 43 64.5 86
The brackets represent confidence intervals.
Read why confidence intervals are important.
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Voice App Experience – 5G Users
in 0-100 points
KT
83.0
LG U+
83.1
SK telecom
83.2
0 21.5 43 64.5 86
The brackets represent confidence intervals.
Read why confidence intervals are important.
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All Users
5G Users
Download Speed Experience
in Mbps
KT
96.6
LG U+
94.7
SK telecom
127.8
0 32.5 65 97.5 130
The brackets represent confidence intervals.
Read why confidence intervals are important.
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Download Speed Experience – 5G Users
in Mbps
KT
168.1
LG U+
160.0
SK telecom
206.5
0 52.5 105 157.5 210
The brackets represent confidence intervals.
Read why confidence intervals are important.
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All Users
5G Users
Upload Speed Experience
in Mbps
KT
14.1
LG U+
19.1
SK telecom
17.8
0 5 10 15 20
The brackets represent confidence intervals.
Read why confidence intervals are important.
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Upload Speed Experience – 5G Users
in Mbps
KT
17.5
LG U+
19.7
SK telecom
22.1
0 6.5 13 19.5 26
The brackets represent confidence intervals.
Read why confidence intervals are important.
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National Analysis
Regional Analysis

On all three operators our users enjoyed a Very Good (65-75) Video Experience. This means users had generally fast loading times and only occasional stalling but the experience might have been somewhat inconsistent across users or video providers and resolutions.

SK telecom narrowly wins the Video Experience award with a score for overall quality of 71.2 that was slightly ahead of the other two operators, KT on 69.1 and LG U+ on 67.5. The overall Video Experience for 5G users — those with both a 5G-capable smartphone and a 5G tariff considering all network generations — was also the best using SK telecom with a score of 75.3 that just reached into the Excellent category (75 or above).

There was little difference between the overall multiplayer gaming experience across the three operators. LG U+ and SK telecom jointly win the Games Experience award with statistically tied scores of 87.2 and 87.6 respectively, with KT close behind on 86.3 on a 100-point scale.

Impressively, the scores all rated as Excellent (85 or above) meaning the vast majority of users deemed this network experience acceptable. Nearly all respondents felt like they had control over the game and they received immediate feedback on their actions. There was not a noticeable delay in almost all cases.

For voice communication using over-the-top voice apps such as KakaoTalk, LINE or WhatsApp, there was no statistical difference between the operators. All three operators had statistically tied scores meaning that they jointly win the Voice App Experience award.

SK telecom users had the highest average download speed with 127.8 Mbps. This overall score includes both 4G and 5G measurements. KT and LG U+ also scored highly with 96.6 Mbps and 94.7 Mbps respectively.

LG U+ wins the award because our LG U+ users experienced overall average upload speeds of 19.1 Mbps, ahead of second placed SK telecom's score of 17.8 Mbps. KT was further behind with a score of 14.1 Mbps. Upload Speed Experience is the overall average upload speed across all network generations — including 4G and 5G — across all our users in South Korea.

High upload speeds help users to post photos and videos to social media more quickly. They are also important for sharing large office documents or for accessing virtual private networks (VPNs).

However, the strength of SK telecom's 5G experience is clear when we look at the overall experience of only 5G users — those with both a 5G smartphone and a 5G service plan — compared with the overall score for all users. On Upload Speed Experience – 5G Users, SK telecom is ahead with a score of 22.1 Mbps ahead of LG U+ in second place with 19.7 Mbps. These results represent the overall average upload speed across both 4G and 5G for our 5G users.

Regional awards for overall are shared across the three operators. In Video Experience, Games Experience, and Voice App Experience all three operators jointly win in at least one region. In Upload Speed Experience, the spoils are shared between national winner LG U+ and SK telecom.

However, in a few areas, one operator has pulled away to win the regional award outright. On Video Experience, SK telecom wins outright in both Jeolla and around the capital Seoul in Sudogwon. SK telecom also secures the Games Experience prize for Gyeongsan.

The clearest regional victories are in the two speed categories. LG U+ wins four regions outright for Upload Speed Experience: Chungcheong, Gangwon, Jeolla and Sudogwon. Also impressively, SK telecom wins Download Speed Experience in every region.

Regional Analysis Summary: South Korea, Mobile Network Experience Report, June 2022

Region
Video Experience
Games Experience
Voice App Experience
Download Speed Experience
Upload Speed Experience
Chungcheong
K
S
K
S
K
L
S
S
L
Gangwon
K
L
S
K
L
S
K
L
S
S
L
Gyeongsan
K
S
S
K
L
S
S
S
Jeju
K
L
S
K
L
S
L
S
S
L
S
Jeolla
S
K
L
S
K
L
S
S
L
Sudogwon
S
L
K
L
S
S
L
Mobile Network Experience Report | June 2022 | © Opensignal Limited Download Image
Selected region
  • A-I
    • Chungcheong
    • Gangwon
    • Gyeongsan
  • J-R
    • Jeju
    • Jeolla
  • S-Z
    • Sudogwon
Video Experience
in Chungcheong
in 0-100 points
KT
69.7
LG U+
66.8
SK telecom
71.6
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Games Experience
in Chungcheong
in 0-100 points
KT
88.8
LG U+
86.0
SK telecom
87.8
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Voice App Experience
in Chungcheong
in 0-100 points
KT
83.5
LG U+
83.1
SK telecom
83.4
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Download Speed Experience
in Chungcheong
in Mbps
KT
91.1
LG U+
90.3
SK telecom
126.8
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Upload Speed Experience
in Chungcheong
in Mbps
KT
12.9
LG U+
18.3
SK telecom
17.2
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Video Experience
in Gangwon
in 0-100 points
KT
70.3
LG U+
69.1
SK telecom
72.0
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Games Experience
in Gangwon
in 0-100 points
KT
88.1
LG U+
87.9
SK telecom
89.2
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Voice App Experience
in Gangwon
in 0-100 points
KT
83.8
LG U+
83.4
SK telecom
83.6
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Download Speed Experience
in Gangwon
in Mbps
KT
109.5
LG U+
112.4
SK telecom
140.9
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Upload Speed Experience
in Gangwon
in Mbps
KT
15.3
LG U+
20.6
SK telecom
18.9
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Video Experience
in Gyeongsan
in 0-100 points
KT
68.9
LG U+
66.0
SK telecom
70.7
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Games Experience
in Gyeongsan
in 0-100 points
KT
86.0
LG U+
87.2
SK telecom
89.3
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Voice App Experience
in Gyeongsan
in 0-100 points
KT
83.3
LG U+
83.2
SK telecom
82.9
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Download Speed Experience
in Gyeongsan
in Mbps
KT
98.1
LG U+
86.7
SK telecom
120.3
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Upload Speed Experience
in Gyeongsan
in Mbps
KT
13.8
LG U+
16.9
SK telecom
17.7
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Video Experience
in Jeju
in 0-100 points
KT
68.5
LG U+
66.3
SK telecom
71.1
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Games Experience
in Jeju
in 0-100 points
KT
82.8
LG U+
86.1
SK telecom
85.5
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Voice App Experience
in Jeju
in 0-100 points
KT
81.2
LG U+
83.3
SK telecom
81.6
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Download Speed Experience
in Jeju
in Mbps
KT
105.0
LG U+
85.6
SK telecom
158.0
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Upload Speed Experience
in Jeju
in Mbps
KT
12.7
LG U+
18.0
SK telecom
17.4
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Video Experience
in Jeolla
in 0-100 points
KT
67.8
LG U+
66.5
SK telecom
72.0
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Games Experience
in Jeolla
in 0-100 points
KT
86.8
LG U+
86.5
SK telecom
87.9
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Voice App Experience
in Jeolla
in 0-100 points
KT
83.1
LG U+
83.4
SK telecom
82.9
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Download Speed Experience
in Jeolla
in Mbps
KT
88.9
LG U+
86.7
SK telecom
135.2
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Upload Speed Experience
in Jeolla
in Mbps
KT
13.1
LG U+
18.4
SK telecom
16.0
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Video Experience
in Sudogwon
in 0-100 points
KT
69.3
LG U+
68.4
SK telecom
71.4
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Games Experience
in Sudogwon
in 0-100 points
KT
86.3
LG U+
88.1
SK telecom
87.2
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Voice App Experience
in Sudogwon
in 0-100 points
KT
83.2
LG U+
83.5
SK telecom
83.3
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Download Speed Experience
in Sudogwon
in Mbps
KT
101.0
LG U+
104.1
SK telecom
134.8
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Upload Speed Experience
in Sudogwon
in Mbps
KT
14.9
LG U+
20.3
SK telecom
18.6
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Definitions

Opensignal’s Video Experience quantifies the quality of video streamed to mobile devices by measuring real-world video streams over an operator's networks. The metric is based on an International Telecommunication Union (ITU) approach, built upon detailed studies which have derived a relationship between technical parameters, including picture quality, video loading time and stall rate, with the perceived video experience as reported by real people. To calculate video experience, we are directly measuring video streams from end-user devices and using this ITU approach to quantify the overall video experience for each operator on a scale from 0 to 100. The videos tested include a mixture of resolutions — including Full HD (FHD) and 4K / Ultra HD (UHD) — and are streamed directly from the world’s largest video content providers.

In addition to Video Experience, we report on the following metrics related to video experience:

  • 5G Video Experience: The average Video Experience of Opensignal users when they were connected to an operator’s 5G network.
  • Video Experience – 5G Users: The average Video Experience of Opensignal users with a 5G device and a 5G subscription across an operator's networks. It factors in 2G, 3G, 4G and 5G video experience along with the availability of each technology.
  • 4G Video Experience: The average Video Experience of Opensignal users on an operator's 4G network.
  • 3G Video Experience: The average Video Experience of Opensignal users on an operator’s 3G network.

Definitions

Opensignal’s Games Experience measures how mobile users experience real-time multiplayer mobile gaming on an operator’s network. Measured on a scale of 0-100, it analyzes how our users’ multiplayer mobile gaming experience is affected by mobile network conditions including latency, packet loss and jitter.

Games Experience quantifies the experience when playing real-time multiplayer mobile games on mobile devices connected to servers located around the world. The approach is built on several years of research quantifying the relationship between technical network parameters and the gaming experience as reported by real mobile users. These parameters include latency (round trip time), jitter (variability of latency) and packet loss (the proportion of data packets that never reach their destination). Additionally, it considers multiple genres of multiplayer mobile games to measure the average sensitivity to network conditions. The games tested include some of the most popular real-time multiplayer mobile games (such as Fortnite, Pro Evolution Soccer and Arena of Valor) played around the world.

Calculating Games Experience starts with measuring the end-to-end experience from users’ devices to internet end-points that host real games. The score is then measured on a scale from 0 to 100.

In addition to Games Experience, we report on the following metrics related to games experience:

  • 5G Games Experience: The average Games Experience of Opensignal users when they were connected to an operator’s 5G network.
  • Games Experience – 5G Users: The average Games Experience of Opensignal users with a 5G device and a 5G subscription across an operator's networks. It factors in 2G, 3G, 4G and 5G games experience along with the availability of each technology.
  • 4G Games Experience: The average Games Experience of Opensignal users on an operator's 4G network.
  • 3G Games Experience: The average Games Experience of Opensignal users on an operator's 3G (e.g. UMTS/HSPA or CDMA 1X EV-DO) network.

Definitions

Opensignal's Voice App Experience measures the quality of experience for over-the-top (OTT) voice services — mobile voice apps such as WhatsApp, Skype and Facebook Messenger — using a model derived from the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) approach for quantifying overall voice call quality and a series of calibrated technical parameters. This model characterizes the exact relationship between the technical measurements and perceived call quality. Voice App Experience for each operator is calculated on a scale from 0 to 100.

In addition to Voice App Experience, we report on the following metrics related to voice app experience:

  • 5G Voice App Experience: The average Voice App Experience of Opensignal users when they were connected to an operator’s 5G network.
  • Voice App Experience – 5G Users: The average Voice App Experience of Opensignal users with a 5G device and a 5G subscription across an operator's networks. It factors in 2G, 3G, 4G and 5G voice app experience along with the availability of each technology.
  • 4G Voice App Experience: The average Voice App Experience of Opensignal users on an operator's 4G network.
  • 3G Voice App Experience: The average Voice App Experience of Opensignal users on an operator's 3G (e.g. UMTS/HSPA or CDMA 1X EV-DO) network.

Definitions

Measured in Mbps, Download Speed Experience represents the typical everyday speeds a user experiences across an operator’s mobile data networks.

In addition to Download Speed Experience, we report on the following metrics related to download speeds:

  • 5G Download Speed: The average download speed observed by Opensignal users with active 5G connections.
  • Download Speed Experience – 5G Users: The average download speeds experienced by Opensignal users with a 5G device and a 5G subscription across an operator’s networks. It factors in 2G, 3G, 4G, and 5G download speeds along with the availability of each technology.
  • 4G Download Speed: The average downlink speed observed by Opensignal users when they were connected to 4G.
  • 3G Download Speed: The average downlink speed observed by Opensignal users when they were connected to 3G (e.g. UMTS/HSPA or CDMA 1X EV-DO).

Definitions

Upload Speed Experience measures the average upload speeds for each operator observed by our users across their mobile data networks. Typically upload speeds are slower than download speeds, as current mobile broadband technologies focus resources on providing the best possible download speed for users consuming content on their devices. As mobile internet trends move away from downloading content to creating content and supporting real-time communications services, upload speeds are becoming more vital and new technologies are emerging that boost upstream capacity.

In addition to Upload Speed Experience, we report on five supporting metrics related to upload speeds:

  • 5G Upload Speed: The average upload speed observed by Opensignal users with active 5G connections.
  • Upload Speed Experience – 5G Users: The average upload speeds experienced by Opensignal users with a 5G device and a 5G subscription across an operator’s networks. It factors in 2G, 3G, 4G, and 5G upload speeds along with the availability of each technology.
  • 4G Upload Speed: The average uplink speed observed by Opensignal users when they were connected to 4G.
  • 3G Upload Speed: The average uplink speed observed by Opensignal users when they were connected to 3G (e.g. UMTS/HSPA or CDMA 1X EV-DO).

Learn more

5G Video Experience
5G Games Experience
5G Voice App Experience
5G Download Speed
5G Upload Speed
5G Video Experience
in 0-100 points
KT
78.0
LG U+
77.4
SK telecom
79.5
0 20 40 60 80
The brackets represent confidence intervals.
Read why confidence intervals are important.
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5G Games Experience
in 0-100 points
KT
90.4
LG U+
89.6
SK telecom
91.0
0 24 48 72 96
The brackets represent confidence intervals.
Read why confidence intervals are important.
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5G Voice App Experience
in 0-100 points
KT
83.9
LG U+
83.6
SK telecom
83.7
0 21.5 43 64.5 86
The brackets represent confidence intervals.
Read why confidence intervals are important.
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5G Download Speed
in Mbps
KT
378.2
LG U+
434.1
SK telecom
464.1
0 117.5 235 352.5 470
The brackets represent confidence intervals.
Read why confidence intervals are important.
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5G Upload Speed
in Mbps
KT
30.2
LG U+
37.0
SK telecom
40.9
0 11.5 23 34.5 46
The brackets represent confidence intervals.
Read why confidence intervals are important.
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National Analysis
Regional Analysis

SK telecom wins the 5G Video Experience category, as well as the overall Video Experience award. For 5G, its score of 79.5 is over eight points higher than the 71.2 it scored in overall Video Experience.

KT, LG U+ and SK telecom all place in the Excellent category (75 or above) for 5G Video experience, while in overall Video Experience all three operators placed in the Very Good (65-75) Video Experience category. Excellent means that all users had a very consistent experience, video streaming providers and resolutions tested, with fast loading times and almost non-existent stalling.

On a 100-point scale, KT and SK telecom jointly win the 5G Games Experience award with impressive statistically tied scores of 90.4 and 91.0 respectively. These are among the highest scores Opensignal has ever seen for Games Experience anywhere in the world.

Additionally, although ranking in third, our LG U+ users also enjoyed an Excellent (85 or above) multiplayer gaming experience. This means that on all three operators using 5G the vast majority of users deemed this network experience acceptable. Nearly all respondents felt like they had control over the game and they received immediate feedback on their actions. There was not a noticeable delay in almost all cases.

There is nothing to separate the scores on the three operators for 5G Voice App Experience. The scores were statistically tied, and ranged from 83.6 to 83.9. As a result the award is jointly won by KT, LG U+ and SK telecom.

SK telecom wins the 5G Download Speed award. Using Opensignal's standard global methodology, our users saw average 5G download speeds of 464.1 Mbps using SK telecom, slightly ahead of the still very impressive 434.1 Mbps seen using LG U+.

Peak speeds are of course much higher, but these globally comparable results represent the real-world average experience of users. Operators in only a few countries see speeds that come remotely close to these extremely high 5G Download Speed scores.

With average 5G upload speeds of 40.9 Mbps, our SK telecom users saw the fastest speeds ahead of LG U+ users with 37 Mbps. KT users experienced 5G upload speeds that were approximately 25% slower than users that connected with 5G Upload Speed award winner SK telecom.

The results are much closer in the regional 5G experience awards than they are in the regional overall experience awards. Using 5G, there are more joint wins.

SK telecom wins 5G Video Experience outright in two of the regions, Gyeongsan and in Sudogwon. Also, it wins 5G Download Speed in three regions and 5G Upload Speed in four regions. In Jeolla, the 5G Download Speed score breaks the 500 Mbps mark with a score of 502.7 Mbps. In Gangwon, the score is even higher (529.7 Mbps) although there SK telecom has to share the award because of overlapping confidence intervals.

LG U+ wins a sole regional award outright — for 5G Upload Speed in Jeolla. In Sudogwon, the scores are especially close on 5G Download Speed, with LG U+ and SK telecom having statistically tied scores of 448.9 Mbps and 459 Mbps, respectively. By comparison, KT has to accept only securing joint wins in Opensignal's latest 5G regional awards.

Regional Analysis Summary: South Korea, Mobile Network Experience Report, June 2022

Region
5G Video Experience
5G Games Experience
5G Voice App Experience
5G Download Speed
5G Upload Speed
Chungcheong
K
L
S
K
L
S
K
L
S
S
S
Gangwon
K
L
S
K
L
S
K
L
S
L
S
S
Gyeongsan
S
K
S
K
L
S
S
Jeolla
K
L
S
K
L
S
K
L
S
S
L
Sudogwon
S
K
L
S
K
L
S
L
S
S
Mobile Network Experience Report | June 2022 | © Opensignal Limited Download Image
Selected region
  • A-I
    • Chungcheong
    • Gangwon
    • Gyeongsan
  • J-R
    • Jeolla
  • S-Z
    • Sudogwon
5G Video Experience
in Chungcheong
in 0-100 points
KT
76.4
LG U+
77.7
SK telecom
77.9
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5G Games Experience
in Chungcheong
in 0-100 points
KT
91.8
LG U+
89.7
SK telecom
90.8
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5G Voice App Experience
in Chungcheong
in 0-100 points
KT
84.2
LG U+
83.8
SK telecom
84.3
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5G Download Speed
in Chungcheong
in Mbps
KT
370.4
LG U+
389.4
SK telecom
429.1
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5G Upload Speed
in Chungcheong
in Mbps
KT
24.4
LG U+
35.7
SK telecom
40.2
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5G Video Experience
in Gangwon
in 0-100 points
KT
79.9
LG U+
79.0
SK telecom
80.1
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5G Games Experience
in Gangwon
in 0-100 points
KT
91.0
LG U+
87.2
SK telecom
92.9
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5G Voice App Experience
in Gangwon
in 0-100 points
KT
83.8
LG U+
82.2
SK telecom
84.4
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5G Download Speed
in Gangwon
in Mbps
KT
357.2
LG U+
482.1
SK telecom
529.7
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5G Upload Speed
in Gangwon
in Mbps
KT
29.5
LG U+
37.2
SK telecom
45.8
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5G Video Experience
in Gyeongsan
in 0-100 points
KT
78.5
LG U+
76.8
SK telecom
80.1
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5G Games Experience
in Gyeongsan
in 0-100 points
KT
90.4
LG U+
87.4
SK telecom
92.1
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5G Voice App Experience
in Gyeongsan
in 0-100 points
KT
83.8
LG U+
83.1
SK telecom
82.7
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5G Download Speed
in Gyeongsan
in Mbps
KT
387.4
LG U+
423.8
SK telecom
471.0
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5G Upload Speed
in Gyeongsan
in Mbps
KT
29.3
LG U+
28.0
SK telecom
39.1
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5G Video Experience
in Jeolla
in 0-100 points
KT
76.5
LG U+
77.7
SK telecom
79.6
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5G Games Experience
in Jeolla
in 0-100 points
KT
89.1
LG U+
87.1
SK telecom
89.7
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5G Voice App Experience
in Jeolla
in 0-100 points
KT
83.2
LG U+
83.1
SK telecom
83.5
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5G Download Speed
in Jeolla
in Mbps
KT
396.4
LG U+
404.2
SK telecom
502.7
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5G Upload Speed
in Jeolla
in Mbps
KT
26.0
LG U+
40.1
SK telecom
31.4
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5G Video Experience
in Sudogwon
in 0-100 points
KT
78.1
LG U+
77.5
SK telecom
79.5
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5G Games Experience
in Sudogwon
in 0-100 points
KT
90.4
LG U+
90.3
SK telecom
91.2
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5G Voice App Experience
in Sudogwon
in 0-100 points
KT
83.9
LG U+
83.7
SK telecom
84.2
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5G Download Speed
in Sudogwon
in Mbps
KT
373.8
LG U+
448.9
SK telecom
459.0
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5G Upload Speed
in Sudogwon
in Mbps
KT
32.1
LG U+
40.0
SK telecom
42.8
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Definitions

5G Video Experience quantifies the quality of mobile video experienced by Opensignal users on real-world video streams when they were connected to 5G. The metric is based on an International Telecommunication Union (ITU) approach, built upon detailed studies which have derived a relationship between technical parameters, including picture quality, video loading time and stall rate, with the perceived video experience as reported by real people. To calculate 5G Video Experience, we are directly measuring video streams from end-user devices and using this ITU approach to quantify the video experience observed by our users on each operator’s 5G network on a scale from 0 to 100. The videos tested include a mixture of resolutions — including Full HD (FHD) and 4K / Ultra HD (UHD) — and are streamed directly from the world’s largest video content providers.

Definitions

5G Games Experience measures how mobile users experience real-time multiplayer mobile gaming on an operator's 5G network. It analyzes how our users’ multiplayer mobile gaming experience was affected by mobile network conditions including latency, packet loss and jitter. 5G Games Experience for each operator is calculated on a scale from 0 to 100.

5G Games Experience quantifies the experience when playing real-time multiplayer mobile games on mobile devices connected to servers located around the world. The approach is built on several years of research quantifying the relationship between technical network parameters and the gaming experience as reported by real mobile users. These parameters include latency (round trip time), jitter (variability of latency) and packet loss (the proportion of data packets that never reach their destination). Additionally, it considers multiple genres of multiplayer mobile games to measure the average sensitivity to network conditions. The games tested include some of the most popular real-time multiplayer mobile games (such as Fortnite, Pro Evolution Soccer and Arena of Valor) played around the world. Calculating 5G Games Experience starts with measuring the end-to-end experience from users’ devices to internet end-points that host real games.

Definitions

5G Voice App Experience quantifies the experience of Opensignal users when using over-the-top voice apps — such as WhatsApp, Skype and Facebook Messenger — on an operator’s 5G network. It uses a model derived from the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) approach for quantifying overall voice call quality and a series of calibrated technical parameters. This model characterizes the exact relationship between the technical measurements and perceived call quality. 5G Voice App Experience for each operator is calculated on a scale from 0 to 100.

Definitions

5G Download Speed shows the average download speed experienced by Opensignal users across an operator’s 5G network. 5G Download Speed for each operator is calculated in Mbps (Megabits per second).

Definitions

5G Upload Speed measures the average upload speeds experienced by Opensignal users across an operator’s 5G network. 5G Upload Speed for each operator is calculated in Mbps (Megabits per second).

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KT

LG U+

SK telecom

Availability
5G Availability
5G Reach
Availability
% of time
KT
99.8
LG U+
99.8
SK telecom
99.9
0 25 50 75 100
The brackets represent confidence intervals.
Read why confidence intervals are important.
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5G Availability
% of time
KT
32.1
LG U+
27.2
SK telecom
31.6
0 9 18 27 36
The brackets represent confidence intervals.
Read why confidence intervals are important.
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5G Reach
in 0-10 points
KT
6.6
LG U+
6.6
SK telecom
7.0
0 2 4 6 8
The brackets represent confidence intervals.
Read why confidence intervals are important.
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National Analysis
Regional Analysis

Mobile services are available almost all of the time in South Korea. Across the operators, the time users spent connected ranged from 99.8% to 99.9% of the time — among the highest scores Opensignal has seen anywhere in the world.

The time our users spent with an active 5G connection is an important measure. While 5G Video Experience and 5G Download Speed may be extremely good, this is of little use unless users are able to experience it often.

Using the winning two operators for 5G Availability — SK telecom and KT — our users spent almost one third of their time with an active 5G connection. Even using third placed LG U+ our users had an active 5G connection for over one quarter of the time. As with the other 5G results in South Korea, these are extremely high scores.

5G Reach represents the proportion of locations — indoors or outdoors — where our users saw a 5G signal. SK telecom wins the 5G Reach award with a score of seven on a 10 point scale meaning that 5G services were present in over two thirds of locations that our SK telecom users visited.

KT and LG U+ were close behind the winner. Both had 5G Reach scores of 6.6 meaning that their users experienced 5G in two thirds of locations they visited.

Across the three categories that quantify the extent of the mobile experience — Availability, 5G Availability and 5G Reach — we see close competition between the operators.

SK telecom wins the 5G Availability award outright in Chungcheong with a score of 33.1%. In all other regions the award is shared by two or three operators. In Gangwon, KT and LG U+ share victory, while in Gyeongsan and Sudogwon it is KT and SK telecom that jointly win the award.

SK telecom wins 5G Reach outright in two regions: Gyeongsan (6.3) and Sudogwon (7.6). But in the the other regions the spoils are shared.

Regional Analysis Summary: South Korea, Mobile Network Experience Report, June 2022

Region
Availability
5G Availability
5G Reach
Chungcheong
K
L
S
S
L
S
Gangwon
K
L
S
K
L
K
L
Gyeongsan
K
L
S
K
S
S
Jeju
K
L
S
Jeolla
K
L
S
K
L
S
K
L
S
Sudogwon
K
L
S
K
S
S
Mobile Network Experience Report | June 2022 | © Opensignal Limited Download Image
Selected region
  • A-I
    • Chungcheong
    • Gangwon
    • Gyeongsan
  • J-R
    • Jeju
    • Jeolla
  • S-Z
    • Sudogwon
Availability
in Chungcheong
% of time
KT
99.9
LG U+
99.9
SK telecom
99.8
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5G Availability
in Chungcheong
% of time
KT
27.4
LG U+
29.9
SK telecom
33.1
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5G Reach
in Chungcheong
in 0-10 points
KT
4.8
LG U+
5.6
SK telecom
5.9
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Availability
in Gangwon
% of time
KT
99.9
LG U+
99.9
SK telecom
99.8
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5G Availability
in Gangwon
% of time
KT
32.9
LG U+
27.9
SK telecom
26.3
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5G Reach
in Gangwon
in 0-10 points
KT
5.1
LG U+
4.7
SK telecom
3.8
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Availability
in Gyeongsan
% of time
KT
99.9
LG U+
99.8
SK telecom
99.8
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5G Availability
in Gyeongsan
% of time
KT
32.5
LG U+
24.2
SK telecom
31.5
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5G Reach
in Gyeongsan
in 0-10 points
KT
5.9
LG U+
5.8
SK telecom
6.3
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Availability
in Jeju
% of time
KT
98.5
LG U+
99.1
SK telecom
99.0
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Availability
in Jeolla
% of time
KT
99.9
LG U+
99.8
SK telecom
99.9
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5G Availability
in Jeolla
% of time
KT
23.5
LG U+
26.7
SK telecom
25.7
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5G Reach
in Jeolla
in 0-10 points
KT
4.7
LG U+
5.5
SK telecom
5.0
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Availability
in Sudogwon
% of time
KT
99.8
LG U+
99.8
SK telecom
99.9
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5G Availability
in Sudogwon
% of time
KT
36.0
LG U+
30.3
SK telecom
35.3
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5G Reach
in Sudogwon
in 0-10 points
KT
7.2
LG U+
7.0
SK telecom
7.6
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Definitions

Our availability metrics are not a measure of a network’s geographical extent. They won’t tell you whether you are likely to get a signal if you plan to visit a remote rural or nearly uninhabited region. Instead, they measure what proportion of time people have a network connection, in the places they most commonly frequent — something often missed by traditional coverage metrics. Looking at when users have a connection rather than where, provides us with a more precise reflection of the true user experience.

We also keep track of the instances that leave mobile users most frustrated: when there is no signal to connect to at all. The most common dead zones users struggle with occur indoors. As most of our availability data is collected indoors (as that’s where users spend most of their time), we’re particularly astute at detecting areas of zero signal.

Our availability metrics take a user-centric, time-based approach that complements the user-centric and geographical-based methodology used by our reach metrics.

Availability shows the proportion of time all Opensignal users on an operator’s network had either a 3G, 4G or 5G connection.

Definitions

Our availability metrics are not a measure of a network’s geographical extent. They won’t tell you whether you are likely to get a signal if you plan to visit a remote rural or nearly uninhabited region. Instead, they measure what proportion of time people have a network connection, in the places they most commonly frequent — something often missed by traditional coverage metrics. Looking at when users have a connection rather than where, provides us with a more precise reflection of the true user experience.

We also keep track of the instances that leave mobile users most frustrated: when there is no signal to connect to at all. The most common dead zones users struggle with occur indoors. As most of our availability data is collected indoors (as that’s where users spend most of their time), we’re particularly astute at detecting areas of zero signal.

Our availability metrics take a user-centric, time-based approach that complements the user-centric and geographical-based methodology used by our reach metrics.

5G Availability shows the proportion of time Opensignal users with a 5G device and a 5G subscription had an active 5G connection.

Definitions

5G Reach measures how users experience the geographical extent of an operator’s 5G network. It analyzes the average proportion of locations where users were connected to a 5G network out of all the locations those users have visited. In simple terms, 5G Reach measures the 5G mobile experience in all the locations that matter most to everyday users – i.e. all the places where they live, work and travel. 5G Reach for each operator is measured on a scale from 0 to 10.

The coverage maps show the locations where we received measurements from users connecting with 3G or better mobile service. Each map provides an indication of the areas in which it is possible to obtain mobile service from that mobile operator.

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Excellent Consistent Quality
Core Consistent Quality
Excellent Consistent Quality
% of tests
KT
85.6
LG U+
80.1
SK telecom
88.8
0 22.5 45 67.5 90
The brackets represent confidence intervals.
Read why confidence intervals are important.
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Core Consistent Quality
% of tests
KT
89.5
LG U+
88.5
SK telecom
91.7
0 24 48 72 96
The brackets represent confidence intervals.
Read why confidence intervals are important.
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National Analysis

The new Excellent Consistent Quality metric is won by SK telecom. In 88.8% of tests, the results passed all of the minimum thresholds necessary for users to enjoy demanding mobile applications. KT was second placed with 85.6% and LG U+ third with 80.1%.

Looking at the minimum thresholds needed for less demanding applications and services, SK telecom also wins the award with a score of 91.7% for Core Consistent Quality. However, the difference between the operators is smaller than it is for Excellent Consistent Quality. Here, KT scored 89.5% and LG U+ 88.5% meaning that just over three points separates the operators for Core Consistent Quality where approximately nine percentage points separate the best and worst scores for Excellent Consistent Quality.

Definitions

Consistent Quality measures how often users’ experience on a network was sufficient to support common applications’ requirements. It measures download speed, upload speed, latency, jitter, packet loss, time to first byte and the percentage of tests attempted which did not succeed due to a connectivity issue on either the download or server response component.

The Consistent Quality metrics — Excellent Consistent Quality and Core Consistent Quality — are calculated using data from our sister company Tutela and uses its methodology, full details of which can be found here.

Excellent Consistent Quality is the percentage of users’ tests that met the minimum recommended performance thresholds to watch HD video, complete group video conference calls and play games.

Definitions

Consistent Quality measures how often users’ experience on a network was sufficient to support common applications’ requirements. It measures download speed, upload speed, latency, jitter, packet loss, time to first byte and the percentage of tests attempted which did not succeed due to a connectivity issue on either the download or server response component.

The Consistent Quality metrics — Excellent Consistent Quality and Core Consistent Quality — are calculated using data from our sister company Tutela and uses its methodology, full details of which can be found here.

Core Consistent Quality is the percentage of users’ tests that met the minimum recommended performance thresholds for lower performance applications including SD video, voice calls and web browsing.

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Related Analysis

Our Methodology

Collecting billions of individual measurements daily from over 100 million devices globally, Opensignal independently analyzes mobile user experience on every major network operator around the globe.

About Opensignal

Opensignal is the mobile analytics company committed to improving mobile connectivity across the globe. We are the independent authority for understanding the true experience consumers receive on wireless networks.

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