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Court orders S. Korea's No. 2 mobile operator to continue 2G

A court ordered Wednesday South Korea's second-biggest mobile operator not to switch off its second-generation wireless service.

   The decision by the Seoul Administrative Court came just hours before KT Corp. plans to end its wireless service on Thursday. 

It dealt a blow to the telecom giant's bid to join the fourth-generation service that is heating up among its rivals.

   In July, SK Telecom Co., South Korea's largest mobile carrier, and No. 3 player LG Uplus Corp. began high-speed 4G wireless service to meet soaring wireless data demand from smartphone users.

   Last month, KT Corp. secured approval from the country's telecom regulator to halt the second-generation wireless service on Dec. 8 after two previous failed attempts.

   Still, some 900 subscribers took the case to the Seoul Administrative Court to seek an injunction to suspend the execution of the decision by the Korea Communications Commission.

 The court accepted the request by the subscribers.

   "There is an urgent need to halt the effect" of the KCC'sdecision as "there are concerns that about 159,000 2G subscribers could face irreparable damage due to the KCC's approval," the court said in a ruling.

   The subscribers also asked the court to annul the KCC's approval.

   The court said the effect of the KCC's decision is being suspended until a court ruling, at a date not yet set.

   Kim Cheol-kee, a spokesman for the KT Corp., said he had no
immediate comment. (Yonhap)