The Korean government has made a policy decision to convert WiBro services, which are considered to have failed, into long term evolution time division duplex (LTE-TDD) services, which are becoming more popular around the world. The idea is to keep up with the global trend. No less than 59 mobile carriers have adopted LTE-TDD as of the end of July this year, to accelerate the shift of the focus.
Under the circumstances, the 2.3GHz band dedicated to WiBro services as well as the 2.5GHz are expected to be allocated for LTE-TDD purposes. The government is currently mulling over the business permits for the 2.5GHz frequency band.
The Ministry of Science, ICT and Future Planning announced on September 12 that it has worked on related policy by setting up a task force including industry experts and research institutes in May. The announcement implies that the Korean government has set out to drop mobile WiMax in favor of LTE-TDD.
The ministry is planning to let new service providers select between WiBro and LTE-TDD for the 40MHz frequency in the 2.5GHz band. Mobile WiMax services, which are available now in the 2.3GHz band, will be converted to LTE-TDD in a phased manner, too.
At the same time, the ministry is going to provide support so that the WiBro services, which are serving special purposes in such fields as national defense, can exist in a niche market, while helping them find their way into overseas markets by means of network establishment assistance and technological development, on the assumption that WiBro is chosen as the tool for the national disaster safety network.
By doing so, the government is planning to drive local firms to boost their competitiveness in the LTE-TDD market. In this context, it is going to prepare a national plan for the development of the LTE-TDD segment within this year, which will cover the R&D of key LTE-TDD technologies, research on next-generation equipment and terminals, and the development of application service models.