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KCC may favor new entrants in bandwidth auction

The Korea Communications Commission is considering giving priority to new participants in its upcoming bandwidth auction which is scheduled to be held later this year.

Oh Nam-seok, director-general of the radio policy bureau at the KCC, said the commission has opened discussions on possibly offering the upper hand to a non-telecom firm deciding to participate in the first high-stake competition to win new wireless broadband spectrums.

“There are more procedures which need to be completed, such as reporting it to the five commissioners, but we’re looking into various measures to brace for the entry of any newcomers,” he said.

Big businesses like CJ, Shinsegae and Taekwang are possible contenders for the wireless bandwidth other than the three mobile carriers, which are all announcing fierce competition for the 20 megahertz bandwidth of the 2.1 gigahertz range.

The bandwidth of the 1.8 gigahertz range is also expected to be up for auction together with the 2.1 gigahertz range.

The commission is also discussing what procedures should be followed if new participants turn up to take home the frequency license, according to a KCC official.

The bandwidths are currently wanted by all three telecoms ― SK Telecom, KT Corp. and LG Uplus ― as they could be used to provide 3G communication services as well as Long Term Evolution technology.

Auctioning of the 2.1 gigahertz radio spectrum was part of the revised radio regulation law passed by the National Assembly in June last year, taking effect in January.

The radio spectrum bureau is projected to offer multiple plans for the five KCC commissioners between June and July for them to lay out the rules of action before releasing the wireless frequency bands for sale in the market later this year.

By Cho Ji-hyun (sharon@heraldcorp.com)
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