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KCC approves KT’s 2G switch-off plan

23 Nov 2011

With South Korea’s second largest mobile operator by subscribers, KT Corp, having resubmitted a request for approval to switch off its 2G mobile services in July 2011, the Korea Communications Commission (KCC) has finally given the go-ahead for the plans. Under the terms of the approval, KT will discontinue 2G services beginning 8 December 2011, and the regulator has ordered it to inform its remaining 2G customers – which now number around 159,000 – of the switch-off by at least two different methods. KT’s 2G subscribers will be told that they need to either upgrade to its third-generation service or move to an alternative provider. As part of plans to assist 2G subscribers in upgrading to 3G, KT has said it will provide a support package that includes discounts on payment plans, the deduction of subscription fees and cancellation charges as well as a choice of a free mobile device. Meanwhile, for those customers who opt to continue a 2G service with another provider KT will offer a KRW73,000 (USD64) payment if the customer returns its handset or a KRW40,000 payment if they keep their devices; customers will have up to six months after the switch-off to apply for the payment.

The development suggests that KT is closer to joining its two rival mobile network operators – SK Telecom and LG Uplus – in offering 4G services. KT has thus far held off from a commercial launch of Long Term Evolution (LTE) technology, in part as it needed to vacate the spectrum currently used by its 2G services to launch its 4G products. ‘The KCC’s decision enables the company to offer good quality telecommunications services to the people by efficiently using the radio spectrum and encouraging investment in next-generation communication networks,’ unnamed KT officials were cited as saying by the report.

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