LG U+ wins auction for 5G spectrum band

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LG U+ wins auction for 5G spectrum band

LG U+ won an auction for an additional 20 megahertz (MHz) spectrum band for its 5G network, according to the ICT ministry Friday. It was the sole bidder.
The Ministry of Science and ICT said Thursday it would allocate the 3.4 to 3.42 gigahertz (GHz) frequency band to LG U+, in addition to the 3.42 to 3.5 GHz that the telecom company bought for 809.5 billion won ($610.6 million) in 2018. LG U+ will pay 152.1 billion won for the additional band.
The company asked the ministry last July for an additional 20 MHz spectrum range. In a government spectrum auction in June 2018, SK Telecom and KT each bought 100 MHz spectrum bands, while LG U+ only bought 80 MHz.
The speed of a network corresponds to the width of the spectrum, which means the smaller the spectrum band, the slower the 5G network.
The spectrum auction for the 3.4 to 3.42 GHz band was announced on June 2, prompting complaints from SK Telecom and KT.
“It is regrettable that the additional spectrum allocation was announced abruptly without in-depth policy discussions that were discussed in February during a meeting with the Minister of Science and ICT and the telecom company CEOs,” said SK Telecom in a statement released on June 2. 
“Allocating additional spectrum band for LG U+ is against the government’s principle and standard for spectrum allocation,” it continued.
SK Telecom and KT did not join the bidding because the 3.4 to 3.42 GHz band was adjacent to the 3.42 to 3.5 GHz band that LG U+ already had. To utilize that band range, SK Telecom and KT would have to spend a lot to combine separate frequency blocks.  

BY SHIN HA-NEE [shin.hanee@joongang.co.kr]
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