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Gov't to unveil possible 4th mobile carrier next week

All News 09:32 January 22, 2016

SEOUL, Jan. 22 (Yonhap) -- South Korea's ICT ministry said Friday it will determine whether to license the country's fourth mobile carrier next week after months of deliberation on candidates.

The three candidates passed an initial government assessment in November in line with the ministry's plan to inject more competition into the market, which is currently dominated by only three -- SK Telecom Co., KT Corp., and LG Uplus Corp.

The Ministry of Science, ICT, and Future Planning, which oversees the country's communications policy, said it has established a special team of 16 experts that will assess the candidates' service, financial, and technology capabilities, along with their plans to protect users' privacy.

The three candidates are Sejong Telecom Co., K Mobile, and Quantum Mobile.

Korea Mobile Internet, which has been rejected six times by the government, did not hand in another application, along with Internet Space Time, whose two previous bids have also failed.

The ministry said it will not select a new carrier if the three candidates turn out to be ineligible.

Representatives of the three candidates will also go through hearing procedures, although they will not be able to meet judges face-to-face for transparency.

SK Telecom currently dominates around 50 percent of South Korea's mobile network market, followed by KT with around 30 percent and LG Uplus with 20 percent.

Public demand for a fourth carrier has been escalating over the previous years with more users seeking budget subscription plans.

colin@yna.co.kr
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