KT, Korea’s second largest mobile carrier, won the right Friday to use a key mobile bandwidth that will allow it to expand services at relatively low costs.
But its success in bidding for the D2 bandwidth came at a premium, as it agreeing to pay 900 billion won ($812 million) for its use, more than three times the minimum asking price.
Korea’s three major mobile carriers on Friday bid for four newly opened bandwidths – A2 and B2 in the 2.6 GHz band and C2 and D2 in the 1.8 GHz band.
|An official at the Ministry of Science, ICT and Future Planning announces bidding results on Friday evening. (Yonhap News)|
SK Telecom Co. secured the 1.8 GHz spectrum for 1.05 trillion won and LG Uplus Corp. bought the rights for 2.6GHz spectrum for 479 billion won, according to officials at the Ministry of Science, ICT and Future Planning.
The total amount raised from the bandwidth sale adds up to approximately 2.4 trillion won.
The bidding process involved 50 rounds of an open and ascending auction since Monday, and a final round of sealed bids.
From the beginning of the auction, the D2 slot has been under the spotlight.
The D2 block was particularly attractive to KT since it could be aggregated with one of the carrier’s existing bandwidths to allow faster LTE-advanced services without much additional cost.
But the blocks availability was not guaranteed at the outset of the bid. The bid was constructed so that only one of two sets of bandwidths would be sold off – Bandplan 1, containing blocks A1, B1 and C1, and Bandplan 2.
SK and LG had allegedly tried to bid heavily in Bandplan 1 to ensure its sale, and therefore stop KT getting the D2 block, but switched to the second bandplan at the last minute.
KT had raised concern over collusion between SK and LG.
By Kim Young-won