Auction for 5G frequencies starts today
The nation’s three mobile carriers — SK Telecom, KT and LG Uplus — will begin a bitter competition involving trillions of won, today, as a national frequency auction for fifth-generation (5G) networks begins.
The auction marks a major step forward for the goal of beginning the world’s first commercial 5G services in March 2019.
How successfully the companies compete for the frequencies will significantly affect their businesses for the next ten years as they need to secure sufficient frequency bands to supply stable services based on 5G infrastructure and new technologies such as virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR).
The Ministry of Science and ICT will auction 280 megahertz of bandwidth in the 3.5-gigahertz band, and 2,400 megahertz of bandwidth in the 28-gigahertz band.
The ministry has set the opening price for the auction of 28 blocks in the 3.5-gigahertz spectrum and 24 blocks in the 28-gigahertz spectrum at 3.3 trillion won ($3 billion).
The minimum bid for the 3.5-gigahertz blocks is 2.65 trillion won with a period of use for 10 years, and for the 28-gigahertz blocks is 621.6 billion won with a period of use for 5 years.
The auction that will begin at 9 a.m. will be divided into two stages — the first stage will decide the number of blocks assigned to each company, while the second will decide the locations of the blocks.
Attention is high on the frequency band of 3.5 gigahertz as it is considered important to building a nationwide network.