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Public negative on phone subsidies

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May 05,2006
Cell phone users feel that government restrictions on handset subsidies during the past few years have only worsened mobile phone services and calling rates, according to a recent survey conducted by the Information Ministry. The ongoing survey, posted on the ministry’s Web site, asks cell phone users several questions about policies related to mobile communications services. When asked how mobile phone services were affected by the government ban on handset subsidies during the past few years, about 36 percent of the respondents said that services had gotten worse. About 15 percent said they got better. Regarding calling rates, about 33 percent said that government interference has led to higher mobile phone service rates, while 17 percent replied that rates went down. Other respondents said that they didn’t notice much of a change, but 80 percent said that they thought mobile service providers and their stores received more benefits than customers. Respondents, however, did not think that that service providers should be allowed complete subsidies either. About 56 percent said that they thought the market would become overheated with competition if the government allowed complete freedom to companies regarding subsidies. About 33 percent disagreed. Currently, the government allows partial freedom for mobile phone service operators who want to give subsidies to long-time subscribers who are buying a new handset. by Wohn Dong-hee


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