South Korea's SK Telecom, that country's largest in the industry and an investor in IT&E on Guam and Saipan, launched commercial 5G services – that are promised to be hack-proof – for South Korean customers starting April 5.

SK Telecom's launch gave South Korea bragging rights as the "first to launch commercial 5G mobile network services in the world, taking the lead over the U.S., Japan and other countries," the company stated in a press release.

SK Telecom announced Wednesday that it will provide "the fastest, widest, and safest 5G network with 34,000 base stations throughout 85 towns and cities" across South Korea.

The network will be "the world's first quantum cryptography solution to eliminate the risk of hacking," SK Telecom stated.

SK Telecom also unveiled ultra-high definition gaming, virtual reality and augmented reality content that will be available to its subscribers to enjoy and explore.

Strategic partnership

Late last year, IT&E announced a strategic partnership with SK Telecom.

"Today's announcement is another milestone in IT&E's relationship with the SK Telecom," IT&E Chief Executive Officer Jim Oehlerking stated on Wednesday. "The strategic partnership allows IT&E to leverage SK Telecom's 5G technology expertise to unlock new and exciting ways for subscribers in the Marianas and Guam to stream, share, play and browse. 5G will transform the mobile experience for our subscribers."

Neither IT&E nor SK Telecom announced when Guam or the Northern Mariana Islands would start getting 5G-rated online speeds.

Last year, IT&E announced SK Telecom has made a $33 million investment into IT&E, making it the company's second-largest shareholder.

SK Telecom is the largest mobile operator in Korea by revenue and number of subscribers, and is a subsidiary of SK Holdings Group, which had revenues of more than $84 billion in 2017, making it the second-largest conglomerate in South Korea. SK Telecom has been ranked by Forbes as the world's 21st largest telecom business in the world in 2017.

Another Guam telecom provider, DOCOMO PACIFIC, recently announced the opening of its 5G test lab on Guam. The 5G test lab allows collaboration with other tech and telecom businesses and a plan to test a driverless concept car on Guam as soon as this summer.

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