KMI, a South Korean telecom firm seeking to become the fourth local mobile carrier, withdrew its plan due to technical problems with the bidding procedures, the communications ministry said Friday.
The Ministry of Science, ICT and Future Planning said it has closed the preliminary bid for the 2.5 GHz band allocated for a new mobile carrier as no companies joined the bidding, delaying the entry of a fourth mobile player in the country.
The ministry said KMI, which is in its fifth trial to become the fourth mobile carrier, failed to successfully make the bid by the deadline at 6:00 p.m., Thursday.
Kong Jong-ryul, who heads KMI, explained it has failed to hand in the related documents due to technical problems, adding it had, however, paid the deposit required for the bidding. The deposit is estimated at 27.9 billion won ($26.1 million). Currently, three mobile companies -- SK Telecom Co., KT Corp. and LG Uplus Corp -- operate in South Korea's mobile network market.
Industry watchers earlier expected KMI will apply for a business license to the telecom body in November 2013 to start services based on long-term evolution (LTE) time-division duplex (TDD).
The LTE-TDD network is a fourth-generation mobile technology developed and led by China, while the frequency-division LTE was adopted by South Korea, the U.S., Japan and other nations.
KMI said it plans to open its service by April 2015.
KMI reportedly told the ministry that it will try again to bid for the fourth mobile carrier in the near future. Internet Space Time (IST), another South Korean firm seeking to become a mobile carrier, also pulled out of its plan Monday due to financial issues. (Yonhap)