SK Telecom has won out in South Korea's spectrum auction, securing licenses on the coveted 1.8GHz spectrum band.
The operator will pay a hefty 995 billion won ($926.3 million) for the licenses, more than double the initial bid price of 446 billion won.
SK Telecom and rival KT had been feverishly bidding against each other for the licenses, but KT finally walked away after the price got too high, Reutersreported.
The band had been highly prized for its compatibility with LTE equipment. SK Telecom and third-ranked mobile operator LG U+ both launched LTE services in July, and are already vying for market share. KT has revealed plans to launch in November.
KT will instead pay 261 billion won for spectrum in the 800MHz band, the company has announced.
LG U+ had previously secured 2.1GHz spectrum in the auction, agreeing to pay a total of 445.5 billion won.