Korea could get fourth mobile operator

Dylan Bushell-Embling
20 Jul 2011

South Korean mobile operators could soon face new competition in the form of new hopeful Kbiz, a consortium with a unique business model.


Kbiz - the Korea Federation of Small and Medium Businesses - has announced plans to submit an application with regulator KCC for a fourth mobile license.


Under the proposal, Kbiz would partner with around 900 small to mid-sized businesses to roll out a 4G network.


A Kbiz official toldJoongAng Daily the Federation views the mobile market as a potential new growth engine for small and mid-sized IT companies.


Kbiz intends to use the WiBro 4G standard - which KT currently offers coast-to-coast. Existing players SK Telecom and LG U+ have both already launched LTE, while KT plans to follow suit in November.


Funding will be drawn from members, as well as external investments. Because of Kbiz' WiBro ambitions, Samsung Electronics is considered a likely investor.


The entry of a new contender could potentially shake up the mobile market, which has been a three-horse race for more than a decade.


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