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South Korean cellcos submit bids for extra spectrum

29 Jul 2011

South Korea’s largest mobile network operator by subscribers, SK Telecom (SKT), has lodged an application for licences in two of the three spectrum bands that have been made available by the Korea Communications Commission (KCC), according to Reuters. As previously reported by CommsUpdate, the regulator is offering spectrum in the 800MHz, 1800MHz and 2100MHz bands, but both SKT and rival KT Corp have been told they may not bid for frequencies in the latter band with a view to ensuring fair competition; the exclusion of the duo is intended to create a level playing field for the wireless sector’s smallest player, LG Uplus. With SKT having confirmed it has submitted bids for spectrum in both the 800MHz and 1800MHz band, KT is also understood to have done likewise according to local media reports, but neither the operator nor the regulator have confirmed that this is the case. LG Uplus meanwhile has applied for a licence in the 2100MHz band only. The winning bids are expected to be selected by the KCC next month.

The KCC aims to raise a minimum of KRW1.15 trillion (USD1.06 billion) from the spectrum auction, with the regulator having previously said that it hopes to generate at least KRW261 billion from the 800MHz sale and a minimum of KRW445.5 billion each from the sales of the 1800MHz and 2100MHz bands.

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