South Korean minister threatens cellcos with stronger action over continued use of subsidies

6 Mar 2014

South Korea’s telecom minister is said to have issued a warning to the nation’s cellcos that stronger disciplinary action could be forthcoming amid claims that they continue to offer subsidies as a means to attract customers away from rivals. As reported by the Yonhap News Agency, Choi Mun-kee, head of the Ministry of Science, ICT and Future Planning (MSIP), was cited as saying: ‘Telecommunication is one of the basic rights of the people … The three mobile carriers have a responsibility to provide stable services at reasonable prices. Accordingly, it is inevitable for the government to punish (the mobile carriers) if they do not stop paying out subsidies.’ With the minister set to meet with the heads of all three network operators – SK Telecom, KT Corp and LG Uplus – he noted that the state will do ‘whatever it can’ to end the practice of aggressive subsidies.

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