The Ministry of Science, ICT and Future Planning and the Korea Communications Commission are planning to assign the 700 MHz frequency band for disaster communications purposes, while distributing other frequency bands to the broadcasting companies and telecoms operators hoping to get the band. But the companies are expected to show strong opposition to the change in the government’s policy triggered by the Sewol ferry disaster.
According to the first option of the new plan, the 700 MHz band will be preferentially assigned for disaster control in view of the urgency of the establishment of disaster management networks. The allocation of frequency bands for broadcasting and telecoms purposes is to be decided later. In the second option, the use of the other bands is determined at the same time as the allocation of the 700 MHz band in the interest of predictability on the part of broadcasting and telecoms business. The two options are identical to each other when it comes to the use of the 700 MHz band.
The government is going to prepare specific plans by the end of August and hold a deliberation committee meeting in the following month for finalization. As such, the government is likely to be the winner of the competition for the 700 MHz band.
Until recently, the Ministry of Security and Public Administration has been in pursuit of the band for use in disaster control, the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport in integrated railway communications systems, and the Ministry of Oceans and Fisheries in e-navigation. Broadcasting companies and mobile carriers have strived to get it for ultra HD broadcasting and mobile services as well.
With the situation as it is, broadcasters and telecoms operators are showing signs of resistance. In particular, they are grumbling about the first option, in that it could result in uncertainty in terms of frequency utilization and next-generation services. The second one is not welcomed by them either, because it takes time until a terrestrial ultra HD broadcasting policy is set up.