Monday 16 April 2018

South Korea MNOs to build Shared 5G infrastructure

According to Yonhap News Agency:
South Korea's mobile carriers and an Internet service provider will share the burden of building the costly infrastructure for a high-end fifth-generation network, which they will then share in using, officials said Tuesday.  
The move could save about 1 trillion won (US$938 million) over the next 10 next years, as it would keep SK Telecom Co., KT Corp., LG Uplus Inc. and SK Broadband Inc. from making redundant investments, according to the Ministry of Science and ICT.  
The four companies will together build the nationwide infrastructure, such as base stations for the 5G network, though details on how much each firm will pay are set to be finalized during the first half of this year, it said.  
The ministry did not elaborate on its estimation of the cost of building the 5G network. 
We recently blogged about KT's ambition to roll out 5G in 2019 here.

One of the reasons the shared infrastructure makes sense is because while most of the world will be rolling out initial 5G network in sub-6GHz band (mainly between 3.4 - 3.8 GHz), South Korea is looking at 28 GHz band. While technically millimeter waves start at 30 GHz (or they are known as centimeter waves or cmWaves below that), anything above 20GHz is often referred to as mmWave. 

Very few networks have commited to mmWave 5G rollout initially. Main commitments are from US operators (AT&T and Verizon), South Korea and Japan.

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