3 telecommunication companies busy with profit/loss calculations
More likely to be discussed at the origin
Concerns persist over user benefits
The additional allocation of 5G mobile communication frequencies, which is in sharp conflict with the three mobile carriers, SK Telecom, KT, and LG U+, has actually been handed over to the next government task.
While the government could not find a solution and it was postponed indefinitely, there are still concerns that the benefits of users may be undermined. Although the current discussion is ongoing, it seems highly likely that the discussion will be re-discussed from the beginning, depending on the keynote of the next government.
According to the Ministry of Science and ICT and related industries on the 16th, the issue of additional 5G frequency allocation is effectively handed over to the next government, and countermeasures are being prepared. From the perspective of each business operator, the conditions are being carefully considered, such as calculating the benefits and disadvantages and presenting the requirements.
The Ministry of Science and ICT has been holding a study group kick-off in relation to the additional allocation of 5G frequencies since last month and has been continuously discussing allocation once a week. The study group additionally constituted experts to draw conclusions.
The issue of additional 5G frequency allocation was raised in July last year when LG U+ requested an additional 20MHz width for the 3.4~3.42GHz band. The Ministry of Science and ICT was initially in a position to hold an auction in February at the request of LG U+. However, the conflict deepened as SK Telecom and KT protested that the auction for additional 5G frequencies was unfair. In particular, SK Telecom requested an additional auction for the width of 40 MHz in the 3.7 GHz or higher band, taking precedence over the fairness of the frequency auction. Instead of LG U+s sole auction, the three mobile carriers should be able to share the width of 20 MHz each and the width of 60 MHz. Since then, the government has failed to come up with a sharp arbitration plan, so it seems to be postponed indefinitely.
As the regime change period and the additional auction of 5G frequencies are delayed indefinitely, there are concerns that user benefits will be eroded. An LG U+ official said that they applied for additional 5G frequency allocation from last year, but it is frustrating and unfortunate as several issues intertwined.
Hwang Hyun-sik, CEO of LG Uplus, also mentioned that it is very regrettable that the additional frequency allocation was held at the MWC 2022 exhibition held in Barcelona, Spain on the 1st, and wished for a quicker decision-making from the point of view of public benefit.
At the same time, attention is focused on whether KT will also request frequency allocation like SK Telecom. KT is currently in the process of closely reviewing the additional 5G frequency allocation. Opinions submitted to the Ministry of Science and ICT are also expected to be submitted after review.
The industry predicted that the controversy would continue as the issue of additional 5G frequency allocation passed to the next government. There is a possibility that the reallocation of frequencies will be further delayed depending on which issues the transition committee considers important.
As the interests of the three mobile telecommunication companies are complicatedly entangled, it is unclear whether a satisfactory conclusion will be drawn for all.
The Ministry of Science and ICT is in the position of continuing discussions while continuously reflecting the opinions of operators regardless of the takeover committee. In addition, as soon as a conclusion is drawn, the procedure is carried out as quickly as possible to minimize the disruption of user convenience.
An official from the Ministry of Science and ICT said that although the announcement may be delayed, a conclusion is reached and the process that can be reduced in the post-assignment process is reduced as much as possible.
Lim Hye-sook, Minister of Science, Technology and Information, takes a commemorative photo at the telecommunication company CEO meeting held at the Seoul Central Post Office in Jung-gu, Seoul on the 17th. KT President Koo Koo, Minister Lim, SKT President Yoo Young-sang, and LGU+ President Hwang Hyun-sik. Provided by the Ministry of Science and ICT