South Korea 5G

An LG employee demonstrates the company's Optimus G Pro smartphone in Seoul, South Korea. (SeongJoon Cho / Bloomberg / January 22, 2014)

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When it comes to their Internet, South Koreans love speed.

The South Korean government has announced it will invest $1.5 billion to upgrade its mobile wireless networks for 5G speeds that will be 1,000 times faster than what they have today, according to CNN.

How fast is that? South Korea envisions the 5G network being able to download entire movies in a single second.

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"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 preemptive action to develop 5G," the nation's science ministry said, according to CNN. "Countries in Europe, China and the U.S. are making aggressive efforts to develop 5G technology ... and we believe there will be fierce competition in this market in a few years."

But before South Koreans can take advantage of those incredible 5G speeds, they'll have to wait a few years. South Korea hopes to have a trial 5G network by 2017 and a full rollout by 2020. Once that is in place, customers will have to purchase devices capable of connecting to 5G networks.

Unfortunately for U.S. smartphone users, a 5G network is likely further off. Carriers in the states are still rolling out their LTE networks, and every time a network decides to improve its network infrastructure, it usually costs hundreds of millions, if not billions, of dollars.

Additionally, the U.S.'s large land mass makes it harder to deploy a new technology throughout the entire country than it is for smaller nations like South Korea.

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