Korean carrier LG Uplus aims to deploy a total of 25,000 5G base stations by June to reach a total of 50,000 base stations nationwide, Koran press reported.
The country’s third-largest mobile operator is aiming for a deployment total of 80,000 5G base stations across South Korea by the end of 2019, in order to to cover 90% of the population with 5G technology.
LG Uplus said it will expand its coverage to Busan, Incheon, Daegu, Gwangju, Daejeon and Ulsan by June and to 85 cities by the end of this year.
“LG Uplus is accelerating the establishment of infrastructure for 5G network services by operating a task force team that supervises every process ranging from contracts for network equipment to installation,” said Choi Taek-jin, vice president of LG Uplus. “By securing dense network coverage with 80,000 5G base stations, customers will be able to experience distinguished 5G services.”
For Seoul and its neighboring areas where the carrier already installed more than 10,000 5G base stations, LG Uplus will install another 7,800 networks to beef up its 5G service in highly populated areas such as apartment complexes and commercial districts.
Also, the company has applied multiplexer technology to build a 5G infrastructure using the existing wireless network for LTE in order to cut installation time. It also contracted with an increased number of infrastructure firms to boost the installation of 5G base stations.
LG Uplus also confirmed it will join forces with rival telcos ― SK Telecom and KT ― to co-build 5G network infrastructure for public locations including subway stations, high-speed trains, airports, department stores and hotels, starting in the second half of 2019.
The Korean government recently reported that 5G subscriptions in the country have already reached 260,000. The country’s three carriers had launched commercial 5G services on April 3.
The three Korean carriers had launched limited 5G commercial services in December 2018 as part of an agreement with the ICT ministry to launch simultaneously to avoid excessive competition. The three mobile carriers initially launched the 5G service in limited areas in Seoul
In June 2018, South Korea completed a tender process through which it awarded spectrum in both the 3.5 GHz and 28 GHz bands. The government made available a total of 280 megahertz in the 3.5 GHz spectrum band and 2,400 megahertz in the 28 GHz band. The spectrum was divided into 28 blocks and 24 blocks.
Participant operators SK Telecom, KT, and LG Uplus had a 10-block cap per spectrum band. The telcos paid a total of 3.6183 trillion won ($3.3 billion) for the spectrum, 340 billion won higher than the starting price of 3.3 trillion won.
The 3.5 GHz band licenses covering a ten-year period and the 28 GHz band licenses a five-year term.
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