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SK welcomes possible delay in 3G service; But Korea Telecom says a delay of more 6 months is unacceptable
Posted: 27-Sep-2000 [Source: The Korea Herald]

[A possible delay in implementation of 3G services in Korea brings varied responses from companies bidding for 3G licenses.]

by Kim Hoo-ran -- The recent indication by the Ministry of Information and Communication that the 3G (third-generation mobile telecom) service here could be delayed has met with varied responses from the three wireless operators that are bidding for 3G licenses.

SK Telecom, the dominant wireless carrier in the current 2G market which stands to gain from deferring investment in 3G, welcomed the news. "The delay would give equipment makers time to develop W-CDMA (wideband code division multiple access) systems. There is no need for early deployment of IMT-2000 which requires huge investments, particularly at this point when the economy is experiencing a downturn," said SKT spokesperson.

With all operators claiming they would deploy a W-CDMA network, local equipment makers have been arguing that a 3G service launch in May 2002, in time for the 2002 World Cup Soccer, would rely heavily on imported systems. Leading equipment makers such as Samsung Electronics and Hyundai Electronics Industries argue that they will not be able to develop W-CDMA products to meet that deployment schedule.

The IS95-C service which will be introduced here next month should be able to provide services very similar to 3G in the meantime, according to SKT.

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