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KT to allow unlimited data use for LTE subscribers

KT Corp., which plans to start the fourth-generation Long Term Evolution network service from Tuesday, may offer unlimited data use for 4G faster smartphone service.

Industry sources said Sunday that KT would allow 3G phone users to embed the user services identity module, or USIM, chip into their LTE phones, which is banned by SK Telecom.

SK Telecom, which started LTE services in July, doesn’t offer limitless data plans for LTE subscribers. Despite little difference in standard charges, heavy data users face greater bills.

The USIM sharing is technically impossible for users of LG Uplus, which uses LTE network together with 2G services.

“Following the policy of the Korea Communications Commission that aims to increase the adoption of LTE handsets, we have decided to allow the move of 3G USIM chips,” said a KT official.

The telecoms regulator has continued discussions over SK’s limited data plans for LTE services as the policy also goes against the USIM-based “Blacklist system,” which will allow consumers to choose handsets and network carriers from May.

Consumers welcomed KT’s move, complaining that they have no choice but to subscribe to more expensive LTE phone plans because most of the newly launched smartphones are running on LTE services.

By Lee Ji-yoon (jylee@heraldcorp.com)
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