South Korea Selects Operators for Public Safety LTE Pilot Network
Tuesday, October 20, 2015 | Comments

South Korea selected two commercial carriers for its public safety Long Term Evolution (LTE) pilot in three areas of the country.

KT won the tender to deploy the main LTE network including the evolved packet core (EPC) and operations center, said Dujeong Choi, project manager, public safety communications testing and certification, South Korea’s Telecommunications Technology Association (TTA). KT, which won the Lot 1 contract in the tender against SK Telecom (SKT), will deploy the network in Pyeonchang.

SKT won the bidding for Lot 2 of the pilot, which includes the city of Gangneung, as well as Jeongsun. Two operators — SKT and LG U+ — also bid for Lot 2.

Public Procurement Service (PPS), the national department for public procurement, ran the selection process for both lots. PPS issued the request for proposals (RFP), and bidding companies submitted proposals including price.

KT is South Korea’s second-largest commercial wireless operator by subscriber numbers, and SKT has the largest number of wireless subscribers in the country.

South Korea’s Ministry of Public Safety and Security plans to sign the contracts in early November, and the pilot will continue with the selected operators through the end of May 2016, said Dujeong Choi. The US$40 million pilot network, pushed back from its original schedule earlier this year, will include 205 base stations and 2,496 handsets.

Users on the pilot network include four organizations — police, fire, coast guard and the local administration office. The pilot will offer testing and validation of the country’s planned nationwide public-safety LTE network.

The country plans to launch a nationwide dedicated public safety LTE network by 2017. There are eight total mandatory user organizations for the nationwide public-safety network, including police, fire, EMS, coast guard, military, local administration office, electricity and gas.

There will be a separate RFP for the nationwide full network deployment.

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