No WiBro for Hanaro


South Korean broadband provider, Hanaro Telecom, which is one of the three license holders allowed to provide WiBro (SK version of fixed wireless) has decided to focus on wired broadband instead. It is leaving the field to SK Telecom and KT Corp. Hanaro recently snapped up Thrunet, giving it scale and scope to compete with KT. The WiBro rollout would have cost Hanaro about $800 million, which is a huge chunk of a change for a company that bought Thrunet for over $470 million and paid $117 million just to acquire the WiBro license. Hanaro is controlled by the New York-based American International Group and the San Francisco-based Newbridge Capital.

This is clearly not good news for WiBro plans of South Korean. Given that it would need lot of many to develop, I understand why Hanaro is having second thoughts. South Korean Information and Communication Minister Chin Dae-Je said Hanaro move would not affect the market negatively, according to this report . “Although Hanaro cancelled its WiBro (plan), we will not select another operator for the license right now.”

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