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South Korea's Task Force Explores Strategies to Boost Competition in Telecommunications Market

Photo by David Arrowsmith / Unsplash

On March 29, the Ministry of Science and ICT (MSIT) hosted the second Task Force (TF) meeting on Measures to Promote Competition in the Telecommunications Market.

The meeting brought together experts from various fields to review the discussions held by the Telecommunications Policy Subcommittee and the Radio Policy Subcommittee of the TF.

The plenary session focused on foreign ownership restrictions, the mandatory wholesale provisioning system for MVNOs, the wholesale price calculation method, and the 28 GHz frequency allocation policy.

Experts suggested that there are limited institutional barriers to foreign investment under the current system, which includes a public interest review system, and that entry regulations should be reviewed based on the needs of new operators.

The MVNO market elicited mixed views.

Some suggested limiting the MVNO market share of telecom subsidiaries, while others argued that regulating unfair discrimination between telco-affiliated MVNOs and independent MVNOs may be more desirable.

It was also agreed that the wholesale provisioning obligation system should be maintained to promote competition in the mobile market.

Experts called for diversifying the wholesale price calculation method and adjusting the calculation timing for LTE and 5G to allow MVNOs to design flexible plans.

Regarding the 28GHz spectrum allocation policy, the TF agreed that it should act as an incentive rather than a burden for new operators, enabling them to compete in the mature telecom market.

The TF plans to work with relevant ministries, such as the Korea Communications Commission, to assess the need for improvements in the Mobile Device Distribution Act, MVNO subscription procedures, and regional market entry to promote competition.

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