LG U+ would not use Huawei equipment to build 28 GHz 5G base stations. LG U+ is the only Korean mobile operator to use Huawei equipment to build 5G base stations in the 3.5 GHz band.
By the end of 2021, the company had built 344 28 GHz base stations.
The 5G frequency band is broadly divided into 3.5 GHz and 28 GHz. The 3.5 GHz band lags behind the 28 GHz band in data transmission volume, but has a longer radio wave range and higher transmission speed. On the other hand, the 28 GHz band is superior in data transmission volume thanks to its wide bandwidth.
Huawei and Samsung Electronics have focused on the 3.5 GHz and 28 GHz bands respectively. As a result, Huawei is ahead of Samsung Electronics in technology in the 3.5 GHz band. The prices of its equipment are more than 30% lower than those of Samsung Electronics.
On the other hand, in the 28 GHz band, Samsung Electronics outperforms Huawei. In the 3.5 GHz band, mobile operators provide 5G services in non-standalone mode (NSA), where a 5G service is built on top of an existing 4G network. LG Uplus had to use Huawei equipment for its 5G service in the 3.5 GHz band to ensure interoperability with its 4G network, which was based on Huawei equipment.
In the 28 GHz band, however, there is no need to use Huawei equipment as 5G service in this band is provided in standalone mode.
SK Telecom and KT had built their 5G base stations in the 3.5 GHz band only with equipment from Samsung Electronics, Nokia and Ericsson. They decided not to use the Huawei equipment given the internal and external circumstances. At the time, the United States was stepping up its offensive against Huawei, claiming that Huawei could steal information through backdoors in its 5G equipment.
“If there is a problem in the supply of US parts for Huawei equipment due to prolonged US sanctions, Huawei has promised to provide equipment loaded with alternative parts of the same quality,” explained LG U+. “At this time, we cannot guarantee that we will not use Huawei equipment in the future.”