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S. Korean Government to Introduce Radio Frequency Licensing System
Seeking to Secure Additional 5G Frequencies
S. Korean Government to Introduce Radio Frequency Licensing System
  • By Kim Eun-jin
  • January 25, 2019, 15:11
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The Korean government is planning to secure additional radio frequencies for 5G mobile services.

The Korean government will introduce a radio frequency licensing system to simplify the procedures that companies and individuals have to undergo to be allowed to use the frequencies they need.

Currently, they have to go through the assignment, designation and approval procedures to be granted the right to use specified radio waves.

The plan to introduce a licensing system was included in the “Third Basic Plan for Radio Waves Promotion (2019 to 2023),” which was disclosed by the Ministry of Science and ICT (MSIT) on Jan. 24 and goes into implementation from Jan. 25.

During the next five years, the ministry will focus on supplying additional radio frequencies for 5G mobile services.

In the first place, it plans to reallocate the frequencies currently used for WiBro broadband connection to 5G mobile telecommunications after the termination of the service in March this year. The WiBro frequency band is expected to emerge as the next golden frequency band for 5G service providers.

The government plans to secure an additional 2,510 MHz bandwidth for 5G services by 2021.

Specifically, it plans to secure 20 ㎒ bandwidth in the 3.4 ㎓ to 3.42 ㎓ band; 90 MHz bandwidth in the 2.3 GHz band to be recovered following WiBro termination; a maximum of 400 MHz bandwidth in the 3.7 GHz to 4.2 GHz band, which will be recovered from satellite broadcasting service; and 2 ㎓ bandwidth in the 24 GHz or higher band.

Among the targeted frequency bands, the low-2.3 GHz band currently used for WiBro is likely to be coveted by 5G service providers. For WiBro service, a total of 57 MHz bandwidth has been used in the 2.3 GHz frequency band, including 30 MHz allocated to KT and 27 MHz to SK Telecom. This low frequency band is attractive to 5G service providers because it has a wider propagation scope than high frequency bands and is economically efficient.

The ministry will start research and development this year to secure additional 5G frequencies in the 3.7 GHz to 4.2GHz band. A MSIT official said, "Considering the global trend, the 3.7 GHz to 4.2 GHz band is expected to be widely used for 5G services in the future. Korea needs to prepare itself for this."

The planned frequency licensing system is intended to redesign the complex framework of frequency policy, which is currently divided into assignment, designation, approval of radio waves. The ministry intends to incorporate the radio station licensing procedure into the licensing process to allow licensees to open radio stations without additional licenses.