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700 MHz Allocated to 5 Terrestrial Television Channels
Divvying Up Air
700 MHz Allocated to 5 Terrestrial Television Channels
  • By Cho Jin-young
  • July 7, 2015, 09:15
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The Ministry of Science, ICT and Future Planning (MSIP) announced that it will distribute the 700 MHz frequency band to five terrestrial television channels, including EBS. The announcement was made during a committee meeting for frequency policies under the Science, ICT, Future Planning, Broadcasting, and Communications Committee of the National Assembly on July 6.

At the event, Choi Jae-you, the second vice minister at the MSIP, proposed a measure that the government will assign the 30MHz frequency band to 4 more terrestrial broadcast service providers for UHD broadcasting: KBS1, KBS2, MBC, and SBS. EBS already has this privilege.. 

As a result, a 108 MHz band in the 700 MHz range will divided into a 40 MHz frequency band for mobile telecommunications, a 30 MHz frequency band for UHD broadcasting, a 20 MHz frequency band for the national disaster safety communications network, and 18 MHz for guard bands.

The MSIP is going to establish a plan for frequency distribution within this month and to revise the distribution plan through the Frequency Band Deliberation Committee of the Office for Government Policy Coordination. The government agency is planning to make a basic policy proposal such as the introduction of UHD broadcasting services by terrestrial broadcasting companies and to create a plan for auctioning off the 40 MHz frequency band for mobile telecommunications, and to carry out the plan within the latter half of this year.

Since the 700 MHz frequency band is a low frequency band, it is easy to deliver radio waves with a small number of base stations or antennas. Therefore, it is called the “gold frequency band.” If the frequency band is sold to terrestrial broadcasting companies, the government can be paid for the allocation and collect radio wave fees, but it cannot make any profits from terrestrial broadcast service providers. Hence, there was controversy that the allocation of the frequency band to terrestrial broadcast service providers is against the national interest.