KMI applies for Korean TD-LTE license

Dylan Bushell-Embling
18 Nov 2013

A consortium of Korean MVNOs is making a fresh play for a mobile operating license, seeking permission to roll out a TD-LTE network in the nation.

Korea Mobile Internet (KMI) has lodged a bid for a license with South Korea's Ministry of Science, ICT and Future Planning, Yonhap Newsreported.

If its application is approved, the consortium will aim to launch TD-LTE services in Korea's 85 major cities by April 2015. The company would then provide wholesale services to retail MVNOs.

The company has secured capital worth around 853 billion won ($802.6 million) from potential investors including China Telecom, and formed alliances with equipment makers including Samsung and NSN.

KMI has applied multiple times for a license to become South Korea's fourth mobile operator. In late 2011 for example, KMI and and another consortium both submitted competing bids for a wireless license. But regulator KCC rejected these applications, declaring that they did not meet the technical requirements.

Had its applications been approved, KMI had originally been intending to roll out a network based on the local wireless broadband standard WiBro.

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