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KMI sole bidder for 2.5GHz bandwidth: gov't

Korea Mobile Internet (KMI) is the sole bidder for the 2.5Ghz frequency bandwidth that can be used for long-term evolution time-division duplex (LTE-TDD) and wireless broadband (WiBro), the government said Monday.

   According to the Ministry of Science, ICT and Future Planning, KMI has been the only bidder in the auction that began on May 2.

   The company made up of mobile virtual network firms originally requested a license to become a LTE-TDD operator on Nov. 14 2013, but retracted its request on Feb. 27. It, however, again stated an interest in becoming the country's fourth mobile carrier on March 20. The government believes a fourth carrier will encourage competition and result in lower prices.

   The frequency it seeks to acquire is in the 2,575-2,615MHz band with a channel width of 40MHz. The ICT ministry has set a minimum price of 262.7 billion won (US$256.5 million).

   Government officials said that KMI will be assessed to determine if it is qualified to control the bandwidth.

   Authorities will also check if KMI is adhering to foreign ownership rules regarding local telecom operators.

   At present, South Korea's mobile network market is dominated by SK Telecom Co., KT Corp. and LG Uplus Corp. (Yonhap News)

Korea Herald daum