KT, SKT to shutter WiBro networks

11 Dec 2018
Daily News

South Korea's KT and SK Telecom reportedly plan to end their services based on the homegrown WiBro standard by the end of the year.

KT will commence a shutdown of its WiBro services on Sunday, starting with capital Seoul, ZDNetreported. The operator's WiBro spectrum license expires in March.

Meanwhile SK Telecom will end all its WiBro services by the end of the year, the report adds. Both operators plan to transition their remaining WiBro customers onto their respective LTE networks, and both have stated that putting an end to the services will allow them to focus on 5G.

WiBro was developed by Samsung and ETSI in 2005, and was named mobile WiMax outside of South Korea.

The technology gained some initial traction as a wireless broadband standard, but soon lost out to LTE in the 4G race.

South Korea's mobile operators plan to be among the earliest adopters of 5G. In July, SK Telecom, KT and LG Uplus all agreed to launch 5G services on the same day, which is expected to be in around March next year.

Earlier this month, Japan's sole remaining pager service Tokyo Telemessage also announced plans to permanently shut down services, but has scheduled the shutdown for September 2019.

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