VoIP passes 10m subscriber mark

5 Jul 2011

The Korea Communications Commission (KCC) has announced that the number of internet telephony subscribers in South Korea passed the ten million mark at the end of last month, the JoongAng Daily reports. With more than three out of every ten Korean fixed line subscribers now accessing services via voice-over-IP (VoIP) technology, the lower cost of internet telephony alternatives has been pointed to as one of the driving factors for growth, with rates for inter-city calls around 80% cheaper than when using traditional fixed line voice connections, while international calls can be as much as 95% cheaper. The KCC meanwhile did note that poor quality connections and the mandatory use of the 070 prefix – a code often mistaken for spam due to telemarketing numbers often starting with the same or similar prefix – had initially threatened the uptake of VoIP services, but it said that the 2008 decision to allow customers to port their existing PSTN number when switching to VoIP helped encourage customers to reconsider the technology. As noted in TeleGeography’s GlobalComms Database, local VoIP number portability (LVNP) was introduced in November 2008, despite reports that incumbent KT had pressured the regulator to delay the introduction of number portability amid claims that VoIP operator’s data systems did not provide enough direction information for emergency calls. On reaching the milestone the KCC noted: ‘Internet telephony is now Koreans’ daily communications medium … We will continue to offer various services to VoIP users to alleviate the burden of communications fees.’ The regulator expects the number of VoIP subscribers to reach eleven million by end-2011.

South Korea, Korea Communications Commission (KCC)