On April 10, the Ministry of Science and ICT released a plan for better utilization of 5G equipment and facilities. According to the ministry, the number of base stations required for 5G mobile communications is estimated to be 4.3 to 18 times that required for 4G LTE as the former has a shorter frequency coverage and uses 3.5 GHz and 28 GHz bands with a smaller coverage per base station.
The ministry explained that an annual cost of 40 billion won can be saved when telecom companies set up new facilities and equipment together and an investment of 400 billion won to one trillion won can be saved for 10 years to come when they share their facilities and equipment.
At present, KT, LG U+ and SK Broadband as wired telecommunications companies are required to take part in joint facility construction. The ministry is planning to add SK Telecom as a mobile carrier to this group in the near future. The Korea Information Society Development Institute is going to collect data and develop pricing models so that their interests can be coordinated for better facility construction and sharing.
In addition, wireless equipment like antenna mounts as well as wired equipment such as manholes and conduits are planned to be included in the equipment to be prepared together. The companies will be responsible for costs and follow-up management related to excavation, conduit and manhole burial and so on.
Furthermore, 17 local governments and national facility management agencies have to provide more equipment than before so that repeaters and communication cables can be installed in street lights, transportation structures, etc. KT’s essential equipment such as conduits, electric poles and optical cables, which cannot be physically replicated, are going to be shared with the other companies for network construction purposes via a new government announcement.