​KT and SK Telecom to end WiBro service within the year

South Korea's self-developed telecommunication technology WiBro will go officially extinct within the year 2018.

(Image: Wimax)

South Korean telecommunications carrier KT and SK Telecom will end their respective WiBro services within the year, they announced.

KT's use of the spectrum for WiBro ends next year in March. The company said it will sequentially end its WiBro services on December 16, starting with Seoul.

Consumers still using WiBro will not be charged for their use after the date but will need to change to LTE starting next month if they want to continue using their handsets.

SK Telecom will also end all its WiBro services by the end of the year, the company said, and will offer LTE transfer programs for users.

Both companies said the ending of the service will allow them to focus on 5G deployment. 5G trials for the enterprise began this month and consumers will get the next-generation network in March next year.

WiBro, or Wireless Broadband, was dubbed Mobile WiMax outside South Korea.

The technology was developed by Samsung Electronics and the Electronics and Telecommunications Research Institute as an ambitious new standard that combined the best of CDMA and Wi-Fi. It was approved by the government as a portable internet standard back in 2005 and initially gained some traction.

But as time went on, telecommunications carriers -- locally and abroad -- chose LTE and the tech eventually became outdated and unpopular among consumers.

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