The Korea Herald


KT told not to dump 2G phone users

By Cho Ji-hyun

Published : June 24, 2011 - 18:36

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The Korea Communications Commission turned down Friday KT Corp.’s proposal to end services for feature phone users by the end of this month.

The state telecom regulator said it would defer giving the green light to KT’s scheme which would force what KCC cited as its remaining 810,000 2G mobile phone users to adopt 3G smartphones by the first half of this year.

“Let’s put it off the discussion agenda for a while and review it once more since we have to consider the remaining number of people subscribed to the 2G service,” said KCC chairman Choi See-joong in a general meeting with its commissioners.

Other commissioners said KT’s 2G service completion notice needed more time since it will most likely meet strong protest from its current users.

“The plan will meet fierce opposition from the public without preparing a protection plan for the 2G service users,” said KCC commissioner Shin Yong-sub.

In response to the KCC’s decision, KT said it would put in a second request next month to end the 2G service, claiming that the number of its 2G mobile phone users had shrunk to 480,000 as of Thursday, down about 400,000 from the government’s estimate.

“We will add speed to completing the 2G service by strengthening promotion, cutting down costs and giving out devices equipped with the latest technologies,” said KT officials.

The company has offered to give a 6,600 won per month discount for two years to subscribers who change from 2G to 3G mobile phones within KT, its officials said. It is also willing to provide 23 different wireless devices for free with a two-year contract.

Although KT did not specify its plan for those who choose to switch to a different carrier, the firm plans to return a total of 73,000 won, which includes the subscription fee of 24,000 won, 30,000 won in compensation for device costs and 10,000 won for transportation, the company said.

By Cho Ji-hyun (