The Korea Herald


SK telink barred from MVNO market

By Cho Ji-hyun

Published : June 24, 2011 - 18:35

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Subsidiary firms of Korea’s mobile carriers are expected to meet resistance in joining the market for mobile virtual network operators as the state watchdog appears wary of letting them do so.

In its general meeting on Friday, the Korea Communications Commission agreed to recommend that SK telink, a subsidiary of market leader SK Telecom, hold back from entering the MVNO market.

SK telink, a firm in which SKT has 83 percent of shares, is expected to launch the affordable telecom services as early as July 1 using SKT’s networks.

“Independent MVNOs are getting ready for launch and we need to think more carefully if we’re going to let them play the role of a fourth telecom to add competition in the market,” said KCC commissioner Yang Moon-suk.

The event takes place after the KCC unveiled support measures for MVNOs so that they can release telecom services about 20 percent cheaper than those now available. SKT was chosen to provide the MVNOs with mobile phones until June 2012 as part of the plan.

Currently, three firms ― Korea Cable Telecom, Eyesvision and SK telink ― are preparing to provide voice services as MVNOs next month, and the Korea Information and Communications Co. is moving to offer data services, according to a KCC official.

By Cho Ji-hyun (