KT resubmits 2G switch-off plan to KCC

27 Jul 2011

Korean mobile network operator KT Corp has reportedly resubmitted a request for approval to switch of its 2G mobile services to the country’s telecoms regulator, the Korea Communications Commission (KCC). According to the Korea Herald, the cellco’s revised proposal call for permission to turn off its 2G networks by 30 September 2011, and while KT has reportedly continued to trim the number of subscribers using such services – with 2G subscribers falling to 390,000 at 25 July 2011, down from 480,000 at end-June 2010 – KCC officials have questioned the operator’s decision to resubmit the proposal so swiftly. ‘It remains a question as to why KT brought the proposal to us again before the ink has even dried (on the first one),’ an unnamed KCC official noted, adding, ‘We currently don’t have an answer as to how low the figure has to be before we approve the company’s plan, but I believe it at least has to be less than 100,000.’

KT has launched a number of incentives aimed at persuading customers to upgrade from its second-generation services, with the cellco reportedly offering a KRW6,600 (USD6.28) per month discount for two years to subscribers who upgrade to its 3G tariffs, while it also planning to provide a number of wireless devices free with a two-year contract for customers that do upgrade.

As previously reported by CommsUpdate, at the end of last month the KCC rejected KT’s original request to force 2G mobile subscribers to upgrade their handsets by the first half of 2011, should be deferred, with KCC chairman Choi See-jong noting: ‘Let’s put it off the discussion agenda for a while and review it once more since we have to consider the remaining number of people subscribed to the 2G service.’ Other KCC commissioners echoed this view, with claims that more time was needed for KT’s 2G service completion notice, predominantly as it was likely to meet with strong opposition from the cellco’s existing subscriber base.