YOU ARE AT:5GSouth Korea set to award 5G spectrum next month

South Korea set to award 5G spectrum next month

The government confirmed local carrier SK Telekom, KT Corp. and LG U+ will take part in the 5G spectrum auction scheduled for 15 June

South Korea announced it will hold its first auction of 5G spectrum on June 15, according to Korean press reports.

The Ministry of Science and ICT confirmed that the country’s three mobile operators- SK Telecom , KT Corp. and LG U+ will bid for 3.5 GHz and 28GHz spectrum in the auction. However, the South Korean government plans to limit their bidding amounts to prevent the auction from becoming too competitive, according to a report by Yonhap news agency.

According to ministry officials, the allocation of the new frequencies could accelerate the commercialization of 5G services, currently scheduled for launch in March 2019.

Last month, South Korean mobile operators have announced plans to share the costs for the deployment of a nationwide 5G network in the Asian country. The initiative reportedly will be carried out by SK Telecom, KT, LG U+ as well as broadband operator SK Broadband. This shared infrastructure projects had the main aim of avoiding redundant investment in 5G deployments, according to government officials.

The initiative is expected to generate savings of nearly 1 trillion won ($938 million) over the next ten next years.

KT has recently confirmed plans to launch its commercial 5G network by March 2019. The mobile carrier said that its 5G rollout will not be based on the Fixed Wireless Access (FWA) model currently being backed by U.S telco Verizon. The country’s second-largest telco recently completed a 5G trial during the Winter Olympics Games, which took place in the city of PyeongChang February 9-25.

During the PyeongChang games, KT Corp. provided five 5G-driven visual technologies including 360-degree virtual reality live broadcasting, omni-point viewing and a 5G-connected bus.

In November 2017, LG U+ signed a partnership with Chinese vendor Huawei to complete a large-scale 5G network test in a pre-commercial environment in Gangnam District, Seoul. The vendor said this network consists of both 3.5 GHz and 28 GHz base stations. The test also helped to successfully verify new technologies including IPTV 4K Video and other future-proof commercial 5G services.

In October 2017, SK Telecom carried out a successful demonstration of network communications in a real-world setting. SK Telecom used an in-building relay repeater operating in both 28 GHz and 3.5 GHz spectrum bands in the trial network at the company’s Bundang office, in Seoul.

During the first quarter of 2018, SK Telecom said it has successfully tested “cooperative driving” using two of its autonomous cars in K-City in Hwaseong, the nation’s pilot city for self-driving. This year, the company also said it will focus on the development of various business models in 5G technology.


Juan Pedro Tomás
Juan Pedro Tomás
Juan Pedro covers Global Carriers and Global Enterprise IoT. Prior to RCR, Juan Pedro worked for Business News Americas, covering telecoms and IT news in the Latin American markets. He also worked for Telecompaper as their Regional Editor for Latin America and Asia/Pacific. Juan Pedro has also contributed to Latin Trade magazine as the publication's correspondent in Argentina and with political risk consultancy firm Exclusive Analysis, writing reports and providing political and economic information from certain Latin American markets. He has a degree in International Relations and a master in Journalism and is married with two kids.

Editorial Reports

White Papers


Featured Content