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Expectations Rising over Lower Phone Bills

Posted February. 04, 2008 03:04,   


The presidential transition committee has pledged to cut phone rates 20 percent. As a gesture of cooperation, communications providers will soon announce their plans for lower rates.

Industry sources said yesterday that KT will propose a slew of discount bundle plans combining land-line service with high-speed Internet connection, cell phone services, Internet TV and mobile Internet.

A KT source said, “The incoming administration has strongly favored lower rates. Furthermore, customers have long demanded discounts. We have decided to reflect those demands in our rate policies.”

The telecom giant yesterday discounted its high-speed Internet rate by 10 percent. Subsidiary KTF has also proposed lower fees for its global roaming service.

An industry expert said, “KT dominates land-line phone service. If it makes a move, others will follow. Then, the new administration’s pledge of a 20-percent price cut could be realized.”

The nation’s top mobile service carrier SK Telecom is mulling whether to raise its discount for calls made to other SK subscribers from 50 percent to as high as 70 percent.

An SK Telecom source, on the condition of anonymity, said, “We plan to give more benefits to customers who have been with us for more than two years and to those who call more often.”

The source also urged earlier completion of its merger with Hanaro Telecom, saying, “Once the deal is completed, then we can compete with KT more competitively.”

LG Telecom and LG Powercom have already begun an all-out marketing drive by introducing the “Triple Play Service,” which incorporates Internet phone and TV services and high-speed broadband into one.

LG Telecom is reportedly preparing a lowered fixed rate for its cell phone users.

Transition committee spokesman Lee Dong-gwan said yesterday, “Despite the gestures, the service providers are not cooperating. Our committee has no means to adjust the basic charges such as connection fees. When the new administration is inaugurated [Feb. 25], we will announce our formal positions.”

Early last month, the committee asked the Information and Telecommunication Ministry to find ways to cut phone charges. The ministry submitted a report containing plans such as lifting government approval of telecommunication charges.

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