The Korea Herald

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Regulator decides not to allow fourth telecom

By Cho Ji-hyun

Published : Feb. 24, 2011 - 19:11

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The Korea Communications Commission said Thursday that it decided not to allow a fourth telecom to establish in the local market due to its lack of business strategies and funding abilities.

During the weekly general meeting, commissioners of the state-run telecom regulator rejected Korea Mobile Internet’s proposed project plan to take position as the fourth telecom.

The commission also turned down KMI’s proposal to get the frequency band for wireless broadband.

The KMI received a total of 66.545 points out of 100 points in the evaluation as a communications carrier and 66.637 points out of 100 points in the frequency band distribution evaluation, according to the KCC. The group needs to get at least 70 points to be qualified for both categories.

Three telecoms ― SK Telecom, KT Corp. and LG Uplus ― are currently the dominant players in the Korean market.

The possible introduction of a fourth telecom grabbed attention in the market as it planned to offer as much as 30 percent lower fees than the rates currently offered by the three existing carriers, leading many to think it may bring down the nation’s telecom costs altogether.

“After the second evaluation, the judging committee decided that KMI lacked the possibilities in terms of its major investors’ funding capability and its plans to garner over 10 million subscribers were missing details,” said Choi Jae-you, director-general of the telecom policy bureau at the KCC.

He also said that the plan was drafted based on optimism that the negotiations with other carriers on the sharing of base stations and interconnection activities would take place shortly without many issues.

“The mobile traffic analysis performed by the KMI also has some lacking points,” he added.

Earlier in November, the KMI submitted its request for the first time to secure frequency bands to take the role as the country’s fourth communications service carrier. The organization, however, was turned down as it received 65.514 points out of 100 points.

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