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Govt. to adopt 'universal' mobile fees in 2018

The government will adopt "universal" mobile subscription fees sometime next year in line with its efforts to reduce the cost burden for mobile phone users, the ICT ministry said Friday.

According to the draft version of the revision to the telecommunication law -- subject to parliamentary endorsement -- a service package with between 1 and 1.3 gigabytes of data priced at 20,000 won ($18) per month will be introduced, said the Ministry of Science, ICT and Future Planning.

The new package will be more reasonable than the existing 30,000 won package bundled with less data, ministry official said.


Earlier, President Moon Jae-in's policy advisory committee announced a package of measures on telecommunication fees, saying that it will encourage local mobile operators to expand the discount rate of mobile phone fees and offer an additional benefit to low-income customers.

During the presidential campaign, Moon vowed to reduce household communications expenses. The cost for telecommunications services in South Korea has been cited as one of the big burdens for South Koreans. Civic groups and some lawmakers have called on telecoms operators to cut mobile fees.

Also, the ministry said it will allow more telecommunication firms to provide mobile phone and Internet services by changing the current system of granting permission to simple registration.

The plan, also subject to parliamentary endorsement, would help more small-time players, besides the country's leading telecoms firms such as SK Telecom Inc., to provide Internet of Things (IoT) services.

According to data compiled by the ICT ministry, the number of South Koreans using IoT-related services came to 5.95 million in May. (Yonhap)