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Caller identification fee to stay at LG

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Oct 20,2005
In a blow to LG Telecom mobile phone users, company President Nam Yong yesterday made it clear that he has no plans to offer the caller identification service free of charge. Meeting with reporters, the head of the nation’s third-biggest mobile phone operator said the decision by SK Telecom to stop charging fees for caller identification from next year will seriously hurt smaller companies. SK Telecom is Korea’s biggest operator, followed by KTF. As the service costs virtually nothing to operate, major telecom service providers have reaped handsome profits. In the first half of this year, LG Telecom earned 53 billion won ($50 million), or almost 70 percent of its net income of 74 billion won, solely from fees for caller identification. While SK Telecom currently charges 1,000 won, LG customers pay 2,000 won per month for the service. Mr. Nam said, “A cut in fees for cell phone services may sound good to customers at the moment, but it could result in the market’s being dominated by just one business operator, which is definitely not good news.” He also argued that the government should maintain the ban on mobile service providers offering huge incentives for new mobile handset buyers for two to three more years, saying the deals undermine fair competition. The Ministry of Information outlawed cut-price mobile handsets in 2003 to dilute SK Telecom’s market dominance. by Seo Ji-eun, Lee Hee-sung


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