Stage X to start nationwide service next year as S. Korea’s 4th mobile carrier

SEOUL, Stage X, a local consortium recently picked as the new operator of South Korea's fifth-generation network, said Wednesday it aims to begin a nationwide communications service in the first half of next year. In an auction hosted by the science ministry last week, Stage X, comprising mobile virtual network operator Stage Five and other partners, secured the 28 gigahertz spectrum band for the 5G network with a winning bid of 430.1 billion won (US$324.4 million). The successful bid helped Stage X become the country's fourth mobile carrier, following SK Telecom Co., KT Corp. and LG Uplus Corp. Stage X said it plans to establish a corporation later this year to release its service in the first half of next year and targets achieving 1 trillion won in sales with a net profit within the next three years. The consortium said it will also work to introduce Samsung Electronics Co. and Apple Inc. models that support the 28 GHz spectrum in North America to South Korea to bolster its offerings. Moreover, it wi ll develop an exclusive mobile phone for Stage X service in cooperation with Foxconn, a Taiwanese electronics manufacturer. Stage X CEO Seo Sang-won vowed to introduce an affordable carrier plan for consumers by "getting rid of the unnecessaries" rather than adding new ones and using cloud and artificial intelligence technologies for the service. After establishing the 28 GHz service in the market, Stage X also plans to expand its network to other low and mid-range frequency bands, Seo said. Source: Yonhap News Agency