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LG Uplus completes cell planning for 5G launch

The Korean carrier said it aims to launch 5G in Seoul and other metropolitan areas next month

South Korean mobile operator LG Uplus said it has completed the cell planning for the launch of 5G services in the country, The Korea Times reported.

LG Uplus said it plans to launch its 5G service in Seoul and its surrounding area as well as some metropolitan cities on December 1.

The cell planning enabled the Korean carrier to select specific locations for its 5G equipment in order to deploy the new network. Accurate network cell planning enables a company to reduce the time required to construct networks and improve service quality. LG Uplus said it cooperated with French company Forsk to carry out cell planning for its 5G network infrastructure.

The Asian telco highlighted that it has been working for nearly a year for its cell planning to guarantee optimal quality of 5G networks.

LG Uplus also announced plans to open a lab during 2019 to help small and medium-sized partners to develop 5G-based products and services. The telco will enhance cooperation with academic and research institutions, with plans including a joint research project with Hanyang University on autonomous driving technologies.

“We will spur efforts to construct 5G networks and develop services in order to bring substantive benefits to our customers and pull growth in the Fourth Industrial Revolution,” the Korea Times quoted Choi Ju-sik, VP in charge of 5G at LG Uplus, as saying.

According to a recent report, LG Uplus is likely to select Chinese vendor Huawei to supply 5G equipment. LG Uplus’ COO had told reporters at June’s Mobile World Congress Shanghai that the company it would work with Huawei in building 5G infrastructure.

In April this year, the three Korean mobile operators announced plans to share the costs for the deployment of a nationwide 5G network in the Asian nation. The initiative will be carried out by SK Telecom, KT, LG Uplus as well as broadband operator SK Broadband. This shared infrastructure projects has the main aim of avoiding redundant investment in 5G deployments, according to government officials. The initiative is expected to generate savings of nearly 1 trillion won over the next ten next years.

In June, 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.

South Korea’s Ministry of Science and ICT confirmed that operators can start using the 5G frequencies in December, with 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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