Korea's Government Unveils New Plans for WiBro Push
November 20, 2009
The KCC (Korea Communications Commission), the Korea's regulator for broadcasting and telecommunications, announced on November 19 that it will allow new operators such as MVNOs (Mobile Virtual Network Operators) to invest into WiBro, the Korea Herald reported on November 20. WiBro is a high-speed mobile broadband technology developed by Samsung and other Korean companies based on the WiMAX (Worldwide Interoperability for Microwave Access) standard. To lure more companies to invest into WiBro, the KCC stated that it will modify the current telecom laws and demand KT and SK Telecom to allow new operators to access their base stations while opening up their WiBro and 3G WCDMA (Wide Code Division Multiple Access) network for roaming, according to the same source.
In addition, the KCC stated that it will launch eight tasks to accelerate the WiBro development, including licensing other companies to operator WiBro services, deploying a nationwide WiBro network, and promoting the use of wireless internet network, according again to the Korea Herald. Meanwhile, despite of the fact that Korean telecom operators pledged that they will complete investment in WiBro networks by 2011 as previously planned, the KCC still required these two operators to submit revised investment plans, the Korea Times reported on November 3. These two companies, however, denied that they failed to fulfill their WiBro commitments. KT stated that the company had invested 688.2 billion (US$579.0 million; US$1 = 1154 Won) into WiBro through 2008, which accounted for 86% of the investment that it promised to spend, while SK Telecom said that it had invested 532.9 billion Won (US$461.8 million) in 2008, which accounted for 80% of its planned investment for WiBro, according again to the Korea Times.