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KMI launches another mobile licence bid

14 Nov 2013

Following suggestions last month that South Korea’s Korea Mobile Internet (KMI) was said to be planning a renewed bid for a licence, Yonhap News is reporting that the consortium has carried through with such plans. KMI, which comprises a number of mobile virtual network operators (MVNOs), is said to have submitted a licence application to the Ministry of Science, ICT and Future Planning, with it saying it has secured around KRW853 billion (USD799 million) in capital from investors including China Telecom Corp, while claiming to have secured the technologies needed to meet the license requirements, after forging strategic alliances with a number of vendors such as Samsung and Nokia Solutions and Networks (NSN). It is understood that KMI hopes to launch services based on Time Division Duplex LTE (TDD-LTE) technology before April 2015 in the country’s 85 major cities, should it be awarded the licence. ‘We aim to attract 8.6 million subscribers five years after the launch of our service, and will turn to the black in 2020 as well,’ the consortium was cited as saying. The regulator is now expected to decide whether to grant the concession next year, once it has reviewed KMIs business plans and technical requirements.

As noted in TeleGeography’s GlobalComms Database, following rejections in November 2010 and February 2011, in December 2011 the Korea Communications Commission (KCC) rejected a renewed bid for a concession from KMI, citing an unrealistic investment plan as the reason for its decision. Subsequently, February 2013 saw the regulator turn down yet another application from KMI for a mobile network concession, with the KCC citing a number of factors in reaching its decision, including a lack of knowledge regarding technology, unclear business plans and funding.

South Korea, Consortium Korea Mobile Internet (KMI), Ministry of Science and ICT (MSIT)

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