The Korea Herald

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SK Telecom's share continues to hover below 50 pct in March

By 이다영

Published : April 28, 2015 - 20:24

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South Korea's top mobile carrier SK Telecom saw its market share hover below 50 percent for the second consecutive month in March, data showed Tuesday, as smaller rivals continued to expand grounds through budget smartphones.

According to data compiled by the Ministry of Science, ICT and Future Planning, SK Telecom had 49.5 percent of the market in March with 28.3 million users, including those from mobile virtual network operators (MVNOs) that rent SK's networks.

The figure marks a 0.1 percentage point drop from February, when it marked the first time for SK Telecom to post a market share hovering below 50 percent since 2002, when it took over another local carrier, Shinsegi Telecom.

In contrast, No. 2 player KT Corp. saw its market share advance 0.03 percentage point on-month in March to reach 30.52 percent, taking up 17.5 million users.

LG Uplus Corp., the smallest player, posted a market share of 19.97 percent last month, taking a step closer in posting a 20-percent share. The figure marks a 0.07 percentage point increase from February.

Industry watchers said SK Telecom's weak market share will continue for the time being, especially as the company faces a seven-day business suspension for giving out illegal subsidies to lure new subscribers, although the detailed schedule has not yet been decided.

Local telecom watchdogs have been ramping up efforts to bring transparency to the market long distorted by subsidies far exceeding the legal ceiling to wrest subscribers away from competitors. (Yonhap)