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S. Korea's mobile data prices second-highest in world: data

South Korea ranked No. 2 around the globe in terms of smartphone data subscription costs last month, data showed Monday, adding to consumer complaints over local mobile carriers' presumably overpriced subscription plans.

According to the study conducted by Finland-based industry tracker Rewheel, the average cost for 1 GB of mobile data in South Korea came to 13.9 euro ($16.6) in April, making South Korea the second-most expensive country in the world.

The study was conducted on 41 countries' pricing of data services under long-term evolution networks.

Canada followed with 9.6 euro, with the United States standing at fifth place with 7 euro per 1 GB of mobile data.

Finland posted the cheapest price for the same amount of data at 0.2 euro.

Compared to November 2017, the price in South Korea inched up 0.5 euro while that of Finland edged down 0.1 euro, further widening the gap between the two countries.

The average price for 1 GB of mobile data for the members of the European Union came to 2.3 euro, and those of the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development had the comparable figure of 2.9 euro.

Pictured are the logos of Korea`s three chaebol mobile carriers. (Yonhap)
Pictured are the logos of Korea`s three chaebol mobile carriers. (Yonhap)

South Korea's mobile carriers claim that the result came as local consumers opt for different subscription plans and that such international surveys do not take their top-notch network environments into consideration.

Local activists, however, claim that South Korea's telecom costs are still overpriced and that they should provide more discounts.

"The country's three chaebol mobile carriers, which rake in 4 trillion won ($3.7 billion) in profits every year, need to improve their price-fixing structure and provide a significant discount in prices," said Ahn Jin-geol of a local activists' group. (Yonhap)

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