SK Telecom (SKT) is reportedly likely to cease utilising 28GHz spectrum for 5G connectivity, after failing to install the number of base stations as required by its concession, according to Pulse News. With the cellco said to have deployed just 1,605 28GHz 5G sites by November 2022, it is noted that as per its licence requirement the cellco needs to up that figure to 15,000 by the end of this month. Seemingly confirming that it does not expect to achieve this goal, the report cites SKT as saying: ‘It is practically impossible to utilise 28GHz for business-to-consumer (B2C) transactions.’

As previously reported by CommsUpdate, in November 2022 the Ministry of Science and ICT (MSIT) cancelled the 28GHz spectrum licences awarded to KT Corp and LG Uplus, while also revealing it was shortening the duration of SKT’s concession. At the time, the regulator confirmed that SKT’s licence would be similarly cancelled should it fail to meet the mandated rollout target for 28GHz base stations by end-May 2023. With this deadline now fast approaching, one unnamed official at the MSIT reiterated the ministry’s stance, saying: ‘If [SKT] also fails to meet the number of mandatory equipment installations by the end of May, they will also have to initiate an allocation revocation process after a set of hearings.’

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