South Korea’s Ministry of Science and ICT (MSIT) has revealed the details of the winning bids for its sale of spectrum suitable for the planned deployment of 5G technology, with all three of the nation’s incumbent mobile network operators (MNOs) walking away with new frequencies. The regulator noted that, with the auction having been conducted in two phases, the first of these determined the quantity of frequencies each operator would get, with the second determining the position of the spectrum.
SKT emerged as the biggest spender overall, bidding a total of KRW1.222 trillion (USD1.10 billion) for 100MHz in the 3.5GHz band (3600MHz-3700MHz), while it paid a further KRW207.3 billion for 800MHz of bandwidth in the 28GHz band (28.1GHz-28.9GHz). For its part, KT Corp offered a total of KRW968 billion for its 3.5GHz spectrum (3500MHz-3600MHz), although it spent the most of any operator on its 28GHz frequencies, claiming the 26.5GHz-27.3GHz block with a KRW207.8 billion bid. Rounding out the nation’s cellcos, LG Uplus spent KRW809.5 billion on an 80MHz block in the 3.5GHz band (3420MHz-3500MHz), and committed a further KRW207.2 billion for its 28GHz allocation (27.3GHz-28.1GHz).