With the parliamentary audit already kicking off, an increasing number of people mainly in political circles are calling for classifying the 40 MHz band in the 700 MHz range for broadcasting use. As a result, the government's mid-long term policies established under the motto, “Country with limited land, but rich in frequency band,” appear to be shaking.
Previously, the government announced its policy to allocate a 40 MHz band in the 700 MHz range for mobile telecommunications. After making the “Mobile Gwanggaeto Plan” in 2012, the government reconfirmed its commitment to allocate the 40MHz bandwidth for mobile telecommunications in September of last year by making a joint government research team. The Ministry of Science, ICT and Future Planning (MSIP) also announced the Mobile Gwanggaeto Plan 2.0 in December of last year, specifying that 40MHz bandwidth should be used for mobile telecommunications.
However, the country's three major land-based television stations are saying that the 40MHz bandwidth should be allocated for UHD broadcasting. Many lawmakers are also defending broadcasting companies' position in the ongoing parliamentary audit. But the telecommunications industry is strongly against the idea.
One government official remarked, “It is not reasonable for land-based television stations to demand the 700 MHz frequency band for UHD broadcasting, even though it is already allocated for mobile telecommunications.” The official added, “Instead, previously-used frequency bands can be used more effectively with compression technology. If that is not enough, we should look for other frequency bands available.”
In fact, other countries use the 700 MHz frequency band for mobile telecommunications. The U.S., Canada, Japan, and Australia are utilizing the 700 MHz frequency band, which was created after the digital television switchover, primarily for mobile telecommunications.
Next year, the U.S. is planning to auction off the 600 MHz frequency band used for TV broadcasting in order to secure up to 120 MHz in bandwidth for mobile broadband.
Many European countries also allocated the 600 MHz frequency band for mobile telecommunications, and are said to be considering whether to use the 700 MHz frequency band for the same purpose. In a recent report, the U.K. revealed that it is positive about the idea of using the 470 to 694 MHz frequency bands for mobile telecommunications in the future.
On top of that, the ITU-T (for Telecommunication Standardization Sector of the International Telecommunications Union) and telecommunications standards organizations and standardization bodies like the European Telecommunications Standards Institute and the Asia Pacific Telecommunity are trying to assign a frequency band left-over created after the digital television switchover for mobile telecommunication purposes.