South Korea plans 700-MHz auction in H2

Dylan Bushell-Embling
10 Mar 2015

South Korean regulator KCC is planning an auction of 700-MHz spectrum in the second half of the year, to help settle a dispute over use of the band and help operators pave the way for 5G networks.

The regulator will finalize details of the auction in the first half of the year and conduct the auction in the second, the Korea Timesreported.

The auction is seen as a way to resolve an argument over use of the spectrum between Korea's broadcasting and telecom sectors.

Broadcasters are advocating that the 700-MHz band be reserved exclusively for broadcasting, but mobile operators are opposed to this, citing need for more spectrum to respond to booming data traffic. The auction will therefore be open to both mobile operators and broadcasters.

Operators interviewed by the publication said they are concerned over the financial burden an auction will place on them, but feel they have no choice but to secure more spectrum to power their upcoming 5G networks.

Proceeds from the auction may be re-invested in the broadcasting sector to help produce more content, according to the report.

For operators, the high range of the 700-MHz band could help them meet demand for mobile data and deploy 5G networks using a relatively fewer number of base stations.

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