News Feature | June 30, 2020

The Week in 5G: 6/30/2020 — S. Korea Reallocating Mid-Band Spectrum; Japan Commits Billions To 5G Network Push

By Ed Biller


South Korea will follow a similar path as the United States in reallocating mid-band spectrum for 5G purposes. The nation’s Ministry of Science and ICT South Korea announced this week they will reallocate 3.7 GHz to 4 GHz spectrum currently used for satellite communications, as well as open the 6 GHz band for wi-fi usage.

ZDNet reports the ministry reviewed current use of the bands between 3 GHz and 10 GHz before making a decision.

In the Netherlands, the Dutch government started a 5G auction this week of 700, 1,400 and 2,100 megahertz frequencies expected to raise a minimum of €900 million ($1 billion).

A 3,500 megahertz frequency will not be auctioned off until later date due to its importance to “work of a satellite communications interception facility in the Northern Netherlands used by Dutch intelligence agencies,” reports abc News

In Taiwan, Taiwan Mobile has inked a $451 million deal making Nokia its sole 5G network supplier.

“The initial phase of the deal, which includes 5G RAN, 5G core and 5G IMS, begins this month with the deployment of 5G non-standalone with the aim of migrating to 5G standalone within a three-year period,” reports RCR Wireless.

Through the deal, Taiwan Mobile will use Nokia’s 5G RAN portfolio, AirScale Micro Remote Radio Head (RRH) solution, and several additional Nokia Software solutions spanning cloud and security services, as well as network optimization and management for 5G RAN, 5G Core, and 5G IMS, states the RCR Wireless report.

Nokia also recently scored a 5G contract with Singapore telecom Starhub – in a joint venture with M1 –to build its main 5G infrastructure. Ericsson landed a similar deal with Singtel, which announced it has “selected Ericsson to commence a period of negotiation to provide the 5G SA Core, RAN and mmWave network,” reports TechHQ. Huawei secured a smaller contract to provide technology for local network system to TPG Telecom.

Singapore’s stated 5G goals include bringing ultra high-speed internet coverage to half the country by the end of 2022 and the entire population by the end of 2025.

Remaining in Asia, the Japanese government – in an effort to enhance the country’s global competitiveness -- will provide financial support for domestic companies developing 5G wireless networks, reports The Japan Times. The government aid is expected to be worth about ¥70 billion and drawn from a ¥110 billion New Energy and Industrial Technology Development Organization fund, will benefit electronics makers and telecom companies, the sources said, as Japan tries to play catch-up with China in the global race for 5G.

Finally, after initially considering Huawei and ZTE as participants in India’s 5G network rollout, the nation’s government is rethinking that decision and considering banning the telecoms equipment giants, reports CNBC.  

The report comes on the heels of an announcement earlier this week that India would block 59 Chinese apps — including TikTok, Weibo, and WeChat — citing national security concerns.