South Korea Officially Cancels 28 GHz Licenses: Report
2023-01-04 15:02:00| Source:RCRWireless
The government of South Korea noted that the decision was made because carriers failed to deploy the 28 GHz radio stations that were required as part of the licensing
The government of South Korea has effectively cancelled the spectrum licenses in the 28 GHz band that had been previously allocated to local operators for 5G deployments, due to the lack of investment and missed rollout requirements, local newspaper Korea JoongAng Daily reported.
Through the decision local operators KT and LG Uplus lost the right to use the 28 GHz frequencies they had won in a spectrum auction in 2018. Meanwhile, South Korea’s largest mobile operator, SK Telecom, had its use time of the 28 GHz spectrum reduced by six months. The telco will also lose the right to use the spectrum completely if it fails to deploy 15,000 radio stations that use the 26 GHz spectrum by the end of May 2023.
The Ministry of Science and ICT noted that the decision was made because local carriers failed to deploy the 28 GHz radio stations that were required as part of the licensing. The ministry made the decision on November 18 and held a hearing on the issue earlier this month.
According to the ministry, the three telecom companies expressed regret for failing to meet the obligations during the hearing. The telcos did not yet object the government’s decision, according to the report.
The three operators had secured frequencies in the 3.5 GHz and 28 GHz bands in 2018, under the condition that they each deploy 22,500 and 15,000 radio stations for each spectrum band.
The government noted that telcos had fulfilled with the stipulated number of radio stations for the 3.5GHz spectrum but all failed to reach the deployment goal for the 28GHz frequencies.
Meanwhile, local news agency Yonhap recently reported that the Ministry of Science and ICT plans to allocate the 3.7-4.0 GHz band frequency to local telecommunication operators next year.
In June 2018, the ICT ministry completed an auction for 5G frequencies in which local carriers SK Telecom, KT and LG Uplus secured spectrum to launch 5G services in the Asian nation. SK Telecom and KT each won 100 megahertz in the 3.5 GHz band while LG Uplus had obtained a bloc of 80 megahertz of spectrum. In July 2022, LG Uplus secured an additional 20 megahertz of spectrum to use for 5G.
South Korea ended July with 25.1 million subscribers in the 5G segment, according to data from the Ministry of Science and ICT.
5G accounted for 33.3% of all mobile subscriptions in the country as of the end of July. However, the technology accounted for 72.4% of the overall online traffic.