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KMI lodges mobile licence application for a sixth time – proposes October 2015 launch

21 Mar 2014

Korea Mobile Internet (KMI), a company formed by a consortium of South Korean mobile virtual network operators (MVNOs), has lodged its latest application for the country’s fourth national cellular network operating licence, its sixth attempt at winning the concession, reports Yonhap News Agency. KMI’s latest application, submitted to the Ministry of Science, ICT & Future Planning (MSIP) on Wednesday, contains a revised proposal to launch commercial 4G TD-LTE mobile broadband services by October 2015 in 85 cities before covering ‘the entire country’ by January 2016. The company’s failure to obtain a licence in five previous attempts is attributed to various problems encountered in the bidding procedure, although it has successfully paid the required deposit, estimated at KRW27.9 billion (USD26 million). A report from the Korea Times last month noted that a previous application had been refused due to ‘lack of plans to raise capital’, but quoted a MSIP official as saying that the government had subsequently concluded that the consortium has no financial obstacles to operating the telecoms network venture, having raised satisfactory capital levels. KMI’s CEO Kong Jong-ryeol, cited in the same report, disclosed: ‘KMI has already agreed with Samsung Electronics, Ericsson-LG, Nokia Solutions & Networks and Alcatel-Lucent for joint development in networks, technologies and maintenance of equipment.’ The consortium has scrapped previous plans to use the Korean-led WiBro wireless broadband platform in favour of TD-LTE.

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

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