Korean telcos win spectrum in uneventful auction

telecomasia.net

South Korea's three mobile operators have all secured spectrum in an auction that failed to meet market expectations for bid prices.

KT and LG Uplus both secured spectrum at the reserve price for their frequency bands, while SK Telecom paid 300 billion won ($260.7 million) beyond the reserve for its 60 MHz block of 2.6-GHz spectrum, the Korea Times reported. SK Telecom's total bid came in at around 1.27 trillion won.

Despite expected fierce competition for the 2.1-GHz frequency, LG Uplus secured the five-year license to a 20 MHz block for the reserve price of 381.6 billion.

KT meanwhile won a ten-year license for a 20 MHz lot of 1.8-GHz spectrum for the minimum bid of 451.3 billion won.

The spectrum auction raised a total of 2.11 trillion won for the government, well below the market expectation of 2.5 trillion won.

Analysts interviewed by the Korea Times said it was difficult to tell who the winners and losers were due to the lack of competitive bidding. But they gave KT and LG Uplus the slight edge for winning spectrum at the minimum bid prices.

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