South Korea’s Ministry of Science and ICT began drafting plans for a 5G spectrum auction and will hold a public hearing next month, with an auction planned in June, Yonhap News Agency reported.
The government is determining how to structure the auction, with options including sharing the spectrum equally among the three major mobile operators, or distributing the airwaves based on the highest bidders.
A ministry representative said: “We have conducted simulations on various scenarios for auctions, and gathered opinions from related organisations, mobile carriers and manufacturers,” the news agency reported.
Spectrum in the 3.5GHz and 28GHz band will be sold.
South Korea’s number two and three players – KT and LG Uplus – reportedly support equal distribution of the 5G airwaves, while market leader SK Telecom prefers a bidding process which could end with unequal allocation, Yonhap News Agency stated.
The lower frequency 3.5GHz band covers longer distances, requiring fewer base stations than the 28GHz band, which can transmit high-capacity data at a faster speed over shorter distances.
KT last week announced plans to start commercial 5G service in March 2019, which will make it one of the first operators in the world to launch the next generation mobile technology.