​South Korean telcos agree to launch 5G at the same time

South Korea's Ministry of Science and ICT and local telcos SK Telecom, KT, and LG Uplus has agreed to launch 5G services at the same time to avoid unnecessary competition.
Written by Cho Mu-Hyun, Contributing Writer

South Korea's IT ministry and local telcos have agreed to launch 5G services at the same time to avoid unnecessary competition that would exacerbate marketing costs.

The Ministry of Science and ICT has also announced that it will provide "unlimted" tax benefits and security maintenance services to SK Telecom, KT, and LG Uplus.

South Korea is planning to commercialise the next-generation network next year in March, with trials beginning December this year.

The move is seen as a way to avoid the costly marketing campaign that plagued the launch of 4G LTE in 2011.

Each telco had argued that they were the world's first, which resulted in high marketing costs and sometimes negative ads against competitors. Telcos also poured huge sums into subsidies to lure customers away from rivals.

The new-found comradery among the telcos also stems from the rise of Chinese telcos; neighbouring China is aiming to become the first country to roll out 5G.

When 5G will officially roll out in March has yet to be announced.

The ministry also addressed the recent Huawei controversy, saying it didn't discriminate between network equipment vendors and that telcos are free to choose their supplier.

Earlier this month, Samsung Electronics unveiled its 3.5GHz and 28GHz spectrum equipment and stressed that they were reliable and secure, a subtle jab at rival Huawei.

South Korea completed its 5G spectrum auction and allocation last month.


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