SEOUL – The bandwidth allocated for mobile carriers will be nearly quadrupled by 2023 to meet sharply increasing data traffic, the telecom ministry said Tuesday.
The Ministry of Science, ICT and Future Planning said it plans to add a bandwidth of 1,190MHz on top of the current 390MHz.
The “Mobile Gwanggaeto Plan 2.0,” named after a famous Korean king who ruled the Goguryeo Kingdom, is meant to accommodate rapid growth of the so-called long-term evolution (LTE) network subscribers.
The number of LTE service users in South Korea came to 26.5 million as of October, far above the 19.7 million users of the third-generation (3G) network and 8.06 million of the older second-generation (2G) services, the ministry said.
The ministry said it plans to add 20MHz bandwidth in 2.6GHz band and 40MHz bandwidth in 2.5GHz band by 2015, and also use an outdated bandwidth as the first step of the project.
The telecom authority, meanwhile, has been pushing to impose a unified telephone prefix for local users, with traditional numbers only allowed to receive incoming calls and message services starting Jan. 1. All services will be suspended three months later.
The number of mobile service users with numbers starting with old prefix such as 011 and 016 accordingly dropped significantly in December, from 1.12 million at the start of the month to 26,640 as of Friday.
South Korea introduced 010 as a unified telephone prefix for mobile phones in 2004 as part of the government’s efforts to promote fair competition among mobile carriers.