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KT smartphones offer unlimited data plan

KT Corp., the country’s biggest fixed-line service provider, said Thursday it will introduce an unlimited data usage plan for its smartphone users, staging a head-to-head fight with SK Telecom, which launched a similar plan earlier last month.

KT said it will offer the unlimited data usage plan for its users subscribed under a monthly payment plan of over 55,000 won ($47.03) beginning Friday.

This means that KT subscribers will be able to freely use the firm’s 3G network, as well as its wireless Internet networks, when accessing the Web with their phones.

“We plan to increase the capacity of our 3G networks and base stations to take in the rising demand and we already have Wi-Fi and WiBro networks established in the metropolitan areas which are most likely to see a boost in traffic,” a KT official said.

He added that this will allow people to freely download video, music and moving pictures, along with data streaming, even when they are on-the-go.

Its rival SKT, which is currently actively promoting its new unlimited data usage scheme, was kept from running the new plan for about a month due to state telecom regulator KCC’s review.

“We don’t know why KT suddenly made a similar announcement after they criticized us for going ahead with the plan or how they are going to deal with the increasing traffic if they don’t have a definite set of solutions in place,” said an SKT official.

SKT also offers unlimited data usage to those who are subscribed with a 55,000 won per month or over payment plan.

It has outlined different solutions ― such as a “Six Sector Solution” for mid-sized areas and “data femtocell” for small-sized regions ― for better network control and to ease traffic.

With only three service providers in the local telecom industry, however, the remaining question is now whether the smallest carrier LG Uplus will follow the trend and offer an unlimited data usage plan too, say observers.

By Cho Ji-hyun (