Tuesday, 11 May 2021

SK, KT, and LG Uplus sign up for rural 5G sharing

by Harry Baldock, Total Telecom
Friday 16 April 21

The trio of operators have agreed to share their 5G networks in remote coastal and farm towns across the country

Today it has been announced that the South Korean mobile operator triumvirate of SK Telecom, KT, and LG Uplus, have agreed to share their 5G networks in a number of remote locations across the country. The three operators will share their 5G networks in 131 coastal and farm towns…

Today it has been announced that the South Korean mobile operator triumvirate of SK Telecom, KT, and LG Uplus, have agreed to share their 5G networks in a number of remote locations across the country. The three operators will share their 5G networks in 131 coastal and farm towns, according to a statement from the Korean ICT Ministry.

The news follows a renewed push by the South Korean government to try and encourage the operators to rapidly expand their coverage of rural areas. In September last year, they formed a taskforce alongside the trio of operators to explore various methods of expanding coverage into rural areas, including network sharing. 

While South Korea is one of the most advanced 5G nations in the world, with around 13.66 million 5G subscriptions as of February 2021, representing almost 20% of the countries mobile contracts. However, as is so often the case in the telecoms industry, coverage of the sparsely populated, remote areas across the country remains a challenge. 

For network sharing programme, the government has selected areas with a population density of 92 people per square kilometre. By comparison, areas without network sharing having almost 3,500 people per square kilometre.

The three operators will trial this network sharing before the end of the year, with full commercialisation of the process expected to take place gradually until 2024.

 

How is 5G reshaping the relationship between operators and enterprises? Get both sides of the discussion at this year's virtual 5GLive conference

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