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KT chairman cool on fee cuts

KT Chairman Lee Suk-chae responded coolly to the government’s demand to lower telecom costs, claiming that companies should be noted for making network investments.

In a meeting with reporters in Jeju, Lee said he would discuss multiple measures with the government considering there is a financial burden involved.

“Consumers’ money spending pattern has changed and increased in sum with the economic development. If the government wishes to lower the spending just because it’s labeled costs, it is going against the fundamental economic development,” he said.

Lee, however, added that the company could think of an alternative measure if it is told that those with lower incomes and students need support.

“Installing a wireless broadband network is expensive but one could use free wireless Internet networks like Wi-Fi to overcome small inconveniences,” said Lee.

Regarding compensation for 2G mobile phone users, he said there would be no more additional measures in the compensation package, announced earlier this month. KT had about 1.1 million 2G subscribers as of last month.

With plans to end the 2G service by June, consumers have complained that KT’s compensation package ― which includes offering a 6,000 won discount on the monthly mobile bill for two years and free 3G mobile devices excluding Apple’s iPhone ― lacks benefits.

“The term compensation is used in case of service downgrade or when customers meet major inconveniences but subscribers don’t need to change their mobile numbers, even with the 3G phone change,” he said. “There’s no reason to stick to 2G. The 3G mobiles are much better since they can make calls anywhere and Internet could be used anytime.”

By Cho Ji-hyun (sharon@heraldcorp.com)
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