South Korea may name fourth cellco this week

25 Jan 2016

South Korea's ICT ministry is expected to decide this week whether to award a fourth mobile license after spending months evaluating the three candidates.

The Ministry of Science, ICT and Future Planning revealed last week that it is on the verge of making the decision, Yonhap Newsreported.

The ministry established a team of 16 experts to evaluate the candidates' financial and technology capabilities and their service and privacy protection plans.

Sejong Telecom, K Mobile and Quantum Mobile are the three candidates that have applied for a potential license.

Korea Mobile Internet (KMI) and Internet Space Time - two companies that have previously had their bids for a full mobile license rejected due to a failure to meet requirements - did not hand in a new application. But K Mobile was founded by former KMI officials.

The South Korean government has been considering allocating a fourth mobile license since 2010, viewing it as a way to improve competition and challenge incumbents SK Telecom, KT and LG U+.

But the ministry indicated that it will not select a new operator if the three current candidates turn out to be ineligible.

If a winner is selected, South Korea's fourth mobile operator is expected to commercially launch in 2017.

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