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``Mobile Phone Charges Should Be Reduced by 30 Percent`` ``Customers Suffer Loss``

``Mobile Phone Charges Should Be Reduced by 30 Percent`` ``Customers Suffer Loss``

Posted October. 10, 2001 08:54,   


As SK Telecom was reported to have made profits exceeding the investment on the mobile phone last year, the consumer organizations urged for the maximum 30 percent of mobile phone rate cut.

The consumer organizations insisted that the mobile phone charge per household was 3 percent of the total household expenses, amounting to 52,000 won, and 59.3 percent of the total communication expenses in the first half of this year.

At the public hearing yesterday, prepared by the Ministry of Information and Communication at the Bank Hall in Myong-dong, Jung-ku, Seoul, Lee Nae-Chan, a researcher of the Korea Information Society Development Institute (KISDI), said that ``the average cost compensation rate of the five mobile phone business companies was 102.6 percent.`` SK Telecom made the biggest profit marking 122.6 percent of cost compensation rate, while KTF and LG Telecom suffered deficit marking 99.47 percent and 84.27 percent, respectively. Therefore, Lee pointed out that SK Telecom and SK Shinsaegi Communication have surplus to cut the phone rate since they made cumulative profit amounting to 1.86 trillion won. KTF and LG Telecom suffered cumulative deficit amounting to 1.2 trillion won and 728.4 billion won, respectively.

However, SK Telecom and other business companies repeatedly insisted that if the phone rate is to be cut, it would bring about the stagnation of the information technology area, thus, reducing the customers` benefits.

Park Won-Suk, director of the People`s Solidarity for Participatory Democracy, argued that ``considering the expansion of the subscribers and the increase of net profit, 30 percent of rate cut is not an unreasonable rate. If it is difficult, the mobile companies should provide the minimum 40 minutes of basic call in the basic charge.``

Lee Nae-Chan also raised the necessity of the mobile phone rate cut, saying that ``the level of the domestic mobile phone charge for the short-term use is higher than the average level of the OECD member countries.`` Meanwhile, the Ministry of Information and Communication plans to make a final decision on the mobile phone rate adjustment in this month after taking experts` opinion into consideration based on the result of the discussion at the hearing.