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Government Says It Will Make Caller ID Service Free

Posted September. 20, 2005 06:42,   


Minister of Information and Communication (MIC) Chin Dae-jae announced on September 19, “We will pursue a plan to include the price of cellular phone Caller Identification Display (CID) service in basic fees.”

This means that despite opposition from the mobile communications industry, the government has in fact declared it will make CID service fees free, hence gaining attention of people.

On making the CID fee free, which has been demanded by civic groups and the opposition party, Minister Chin remarked, “We will acquire legal grounds to lower fees by including CID fees in the basic fees of cellular phones through administrative measures or correction orders issued by the government.”

The mobile communication companies’ statements decide CID and other additional service fees, but the basic fees need to be approved by the MIC. Hence, by including CID in the basic fee, it will be subject to approval.

He also added, “The monthly average bill for a cellular phone is about 45,000 won, and for a four-member family, the monthly cellular bill is over 200,000 won, which is a burden to the household’s consumption.”

On the demands by the mobile communication industry to raise basic fees in exchange for including CID fees in the basic fee, Minister Chin made it clear that he would not support a raise in basic fees, saying, “The government is sympathizing with calls for lower fees,” and that “raising fees is for the mobile communication companies to acquire resources to invest in the future or improve the quality of communication services. However, currently, the equipment investment of the communication companies is unsatisfactory.”

Presently, the CID fee for SK Telecom and KTF is 1,000 won monthly, and 2,000 won a month for LG Telecom. The three mobile communication companies earned a combined 367.3 billion won last year on charges for this service.

Do-Young Kim nirvana1@donga.com