South Korea announced the reserve prices for 5G spectrum in two bands which will be sold to the country’s three mobile operators in an auction in June, Yonhap News Agency reported.
SK Telecom, KT and LG Uplus will bid for 28 blocks in the 3.5GHz band and 24 blocks in the 28GHz band. The Ministry of Science and ICT set the reserve price for the 3.5GHz blocks at KRW2.65 trillion ($2.49 billion) and for the 28GHz blocks at KRW621.6 billion, the news agency said.
The reserve price for 4G spectrum sold in 2016 was set at KRW2.6 trillion.
Operators can begin using the spectrum in December, with the 3.5GHz band covering a ten-year period and the 28GHz band a five-year term.
The government last week mandated operators share 5G infrastructure in a bid to reduce the cost of rolling out the technology and so enable operators to pass on the savings to customers. The plan covers operators’ core fibre resources rather than RANs, so demand for 5G spectrum in the upcoming auction is expected to be intense.
KT, the second largest mobile operator in South Korea, announced in late March it 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.