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Korean telcos use Galaxy S10 pre-orders to compete for initial 5G subscribers

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Jason Cipriani/ZDNet

South Korean telcos are going all out to lure their first 5G subscribers, kicking it off with the sale of the Galaxy S10 5G on Friday.

The launch of the smartphone will signal the official beginning of 5G commercialisation in South Korea, the world’s first roll out of 5G networks.

SK Telecom, KT, and LG Uplus have started pre-orders for Samsung’s 5G offering on Monday with their own respective batches of free gifts.

SK Telecom will give out the Galaxy S10 5G for free to five pre-ordering customers, while also giving a wireless vacuum cleaner to 55 people and free wireless chargers to 555 people.

Those who pre-ordered through the mobile carrier’s online shopping mall, T World Direct, will either get a free wireless charging pad, a secondary battery, or a car rest.

KT is also offering its own set of gifts. It will be giving out a free Samsung TV or Dyson hair set to two people, among pre-ordering customers, every day from April 1-15. It will also be giving E-Mart mobile gift cards to a hundred customers and free chicken certificates to 5,000 people.

It will also invite 50 customers who may each bring a companion with them, of those that applied, to attend an exclusive launch event at On Restaurant. Customers of KT’s On Restaurant will be able to eat anything for free with a charge of 1.98 won for each additional serving after the first one. 

LG Uplus meanwhile will give a free VR headset to every customer that purchases a Galaxy S10 5G by May. Those who buy the smartphone by June through the carrier will get YouTube Premium for free for six months.

Last year, all three telcos agreed to launch 5G services at the same time to avoid unnecessary competition. It was seen as a move to prevent a repeat of the costly marketing campaigns that plagued the 4G LTE launch in 2011.

But competition will remain fierce as it will be a chance for telcos to gain new market share and possibly change the power dynamics among them. For 20 years, SK Telecom has been the largest mobile carrier, with KT coming second, and LG Uplus being a distant third.

Promotion events are also likely to ignite again with the launch of V50 ThinQ 5G on April 19.

LG Uplus gained significant clout during the LTE era and is planning to extend further in 5G by being the first to introduce overseas services. LG Uplus introduced Netflix and is also the only carrier to use equipment by Huawei, despite the global security controversy surrounding the Chinese company.

South Korea initially planned to roll out 5G in March but it was delayed due to industry players not being ready. The government finally accepted data plans from the carriers that include a low-entry 55,000 won per month late last month.

Related Coverage

LG V50 ThinQ with 5G to launch in South Korea on April 19

LG will launch its first 5G smartphone, the V50 ThinQ, in South Korea on April 19, two weeks after the release of Samsung’s Galaxy S10 5G.

Samsung and KT achieve 1Gbps speed on 5G commercial network

KT’s 5G network will be ready for use in 85 cities across South Korea, including Seoul, by the end of the month. This includes 5G service coverage throughout various major national highways and high-speed railways.

KT 5G being launched by Ericsson

KT’s 5G network will be commercially launched in early April, with the Korean carrier partnering with Ericsson for the deployment.

Galaxy S10 5G to have 2.7Gbps top speed in South Korea

Galaxy S10 5G smartphone will eventually have data transfer speeds up to 2.7Gbps in South Korea, SK Telecom says, following its completion of 5G-LTE aggregation testing.

South Korea 5G rollout faces delays

South Korea will likely delay the rollout of 5G networks that was initially planned for this month due to delays in setting the right pricing plan, and smartphone makers and telcos struggling to meet the schedule.

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The Best Features Of The Aston Martin Vulcan

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Although the Vulcan was specifically designed not to be road legal, one owner decided that they wanted to stick on some license plates and take it on the highway anyway. Except, it was far from that simple, as the conversion process required making some major changes to the car, and cost several hundred thousand dollars on top of the original purchase price (via Motor1). The street conversion was handled by RML Group but had full support from the Aston Martin factory, and after completion, it became the only road-legal Vulcan in existence.

Among the litany of changes required were the addition of windshield wipers, side mirrors, and a central locking system. Michelin road tires were also fitted, and a new set of headlights had to be installed to meet height requirements for British roads. The bladed tail lights were also covered over for safety, and a few of the sharper surface edges around the cabin were smoothed out. Then, the engine was remapped to meet emissions requirements, the suspension was softened, and a lift system was installed to give the car extra clearance for speed bumps. After all that, plus a few final touches, a license plate was fitted and the car was ready to go. Unfortunately, it seems like the owner’s enthusiasm for taking it on the road quickly evaporated, as checking the car’s plates against the British government database shows that its MOT (the annual national roadworthiness test) certificate expired back in January 2022.

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5 Cars Owned By Bob Seger That Prove He Has Great Taste

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Pulling into the final spot on the list is a 1969 Shelby Cobra GT350 Fastback. This particular car is unique for a few reasons. First, it was the last “new original” Shelby that Ford would produce. The GT350 and GT500 released in 1970 weren’t actually new or original but re-VIN’d production cars from the previous year. Also, during the summer of ’69, Carrol Shelby ended his association with Ford (via MustangSpecs).

It had one of Ford’s new 351 Windsor V8 engines with a 470 CFM four-barrel Autolite carburetor under the hood that pounded out 290hp and 385 lb-ft of torque. Its 0 – 60 time was a modest 6.5 seconds, and it did the quarter mile in 14.9 seconds (via MustangSpecs).

According to MustangSpecs, it was typically mated to a 4-speed manual transmission, but Seger’s had a Tremec 6-speed stick instead (via Mecum Auctions). Seger’s Candy Apple Red GT350 had Ford’s upgraded interior package, flaunting a landscape of imitation teak wood covering the dash, steering wheel, door accents, and center console trim (via MustangSpecs).

According to Mecum Auctions, Seger’s was number 42 of 935. When it sold at auction in 2013 for $65,000, it noted that it had been displayed at the Henry Ford Museum at the Rock Stars, Cars & Guitars Exhibit.

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Here’s What Made Volkswagen’s Air-Cooled Engine So Special

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Engines like the Chevy Small Block, Ford 5.0, Chrysler HEMI, and Toyota 2JZ are known for power, torque, and how quickly they can propel a hunk of steel down the drag strip or around the corners of a track. The Volkswagen air-cooled engine is remembered amongst people who have owned one as reliable, easy to maintain, and as numerous as grains of sand on the beach. VW made literally tens of millions of the engine, including over 21 million in just the Beetle (via Autoweek). 

It’s difficult to nail down specific aspects of the engine’s early history as sources tend to disagree on years. But the engine can be traced back to very early Volkswagen models designed with help from Ferdinand Porsche and built in the late-1930s to early 1940s in Nazi Germany. Official sources from Volkswagen are reluctant to acknowledge use of the engine or even the existence of the Beetle prior to the end of World War II.

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