Auction may bring in fourth carrier

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Auction may bring in fourth carrier

The Ministry of Science, ICT and Future Planning said yesterday it will allocate the country’s first LTE-TDD frequency bands through an auction Monday.

None of Korea’s three major mobile carriers are expected to bid for the frequency, according to market observers.

Korea Mobile Internet is seeking to become Korea’s fourth mobile carrier with the LTE-TDD service and is likely to bid for the frequency.

LTE-TDD, also known as time-division long-term evolution, is different from LTE-FDD, or frequency-division LTE, which Korean mobile carriers use.

LTE-TDD uses one frequency to both receive and transmit data, while LTE-FDD uses two frequencies.

Many developed countries like the United States and Japan are pursuing LTE-FDD. China, India and Australia are developing LTE-TDD.

The ministry will allocate LTE-TDD frequency bands in the 2.5 GHz spectrum. The frequency band of 2.5 GHz to be auctioned is between 2,575 megahertz to 2,615 megahertz.

The winner will be chosen through 20 rounds of bidding.

Bidding for the frequency band will start at 279 billion won ($262.8 million). The mobile carrier that wins the auction will be authorized to use the assigned frequency until March 29, 2019.

Meanwhile, SK Telecom, the nation’s largest mobile carrier, claimed on Thursday that it became the world’s first to demonstrate the next-generation virtualized radio access network (vRAN) in the LTE-FDD wireless broadband environment.

The network is regarded as crucial for 5G technology, which is scheduled to be commercialized in 2020.

The vRAN network increases the efficiency of base stations in the area of data transmission.

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