LG U+ Corp. is accelerating the establishment of fifth-generation (5G) network infrastructure in its bid to take the lead in the domestic wireless service market.
The company has deployed 5,500 5G base stations nationwide so far, showing the fastest progress among the nation’s three mobile carriers. It plans to inject about 4 trillion won (US$3.54 billion) into network building in the 3.5GHz frequency band alone.
The company also plans to aggressively acquire local cable TV operators to beef up its paid TV business.
LG U+ CEO and vice chairman Ha Hyun-hwoi held a press conference at the firm's headquarters in Yongsan, Seoul, on Dec. 19 and pledged to take the lead in providing 5G services by building a nationwide infrastructure early.
Ha said the company will seek to change the current market share structure of 5:3:2 among the three major players in wireless and paid TV markets, with LG U+ tracing the two bigger competitors.
Ha said LG U+ will aggressively push ahead with mergers and acquisitions of cable TV service providers, including CJ HelloVision. As cable TV multiple system operators (MSOs) are all put up for sale, the company will start negotiations with all of them without selecting a particular company.
LG U+ is accelerating the establishment of 5G network base stations before the 5G commercialization in March next year. The company has already been getting ahead of its competitors in 5G base station deployment. This is largely thanks to aggressive investment at the group level. It is planning to take the lead in the 5G infrastructure competition by investing 4 trillion won (US$3.54 billion) in the 3.5GHz frequency band which is actively under construction now.
Ha also expressed confidence in the quality of its 5G services. He said, “All three mobile carriers have the same bandwidth. We have the 880MHz bandwidth for 5G services, which is 20MHz smaller than other competitors. However, we can provide better services as we currently have a smaller number of subscribers.”
In addition, LG U+ believes that its customers' initial response to Netflix content is much better than expected. The company has partneredwith the global video streaming company to make its video contents available on its IPTV service. Ha said it is untrue that profits from Netflix video are distributed between the two companies 9 to 1 in favor of Netflix.
Speaking of using network equipment from Chinese maker Huawei, Ha said, “Huawei has asked an international network security evaluation organization from Spain to conduct an inspection into its equipment, includingt the company’s source code in base stations. Huawei handed over materials related to source code in its base stations to the certificate authority last month.” LG U+ will also invite government officials, and network experts to an inspection conducted by the international network security evaluation organization from Spain in the first half of 2019.