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KT resubmission of plan to halt 2G services blocked

KT Corp.’s resubmitted plan to end services for feature phone users by September is again stirring up controversy as the number of owners remains high.

“I truly hope KT is aware of the fact that even a single customer was a loyal one using its services for a minimum of a few months to a number of years,” said a Seoulite who wished to only be identified by his surname Jung.

The Korea Communications Commission announced late Monday that KT submitted a second proposal to end 2G services by Sept. 30. The company’s first proposal was turned down by the commission late June, with the regulator claiming its base of 2G service subscribers was too high.

Although KT has cut that figure from 480,000 in late June to 390,000 as of Monday, it is still not enough to give the green light for ending the service, according to a KCC official.

“It remains a question as to why KT brought the proposal to us again before the ink has even dried (on the first one),” the official said. “We currently don’t have an answer as to how low the figure has to be before we approve the company’s plan, but I believe it at least has to be less than 100,000.”

KT 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. It is also planning to provide 24 different wireless devices for free with a two-year contract.

If customers choose to switch to a 3G mobile phone serviced by another wireless service operator, KT is willing to give about 73,000 won in compensation.

However, many customers are still saying the compensation plan needs improvement.

“The company has already been rejected once by the KCC, but it has not released any more details for its compensation plan for those who make the switch to 2G cell phones even though July is almost passing by,” said a 32-year-old Seoulite surnamed Lee. “I wonder what the company is really up to.”

As a bumpy road seems to be inevitable for KT involving the 2G service completion plan, the firm has to have the initial plan approved by the five KCC commissioners and report a customer protection plan before receiving the final green light.

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