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Unpaid bills stack up for mobile nation

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June 28,2006
As of last year, Koreans owed a total of over 2 trillion won ($2.08 billion) in fixed line and mobile phone fees, a state-run group representing the information technology industry said yesterday. According to the Korea Association of Information and Telecommunication, total personal overdue bills amounted to 539 billion won for fixed line phone services and 1.5 trillion won for mobile phone services. The association said it did not include unpaid bills for the high-speed Internet or satellite digital multimedia broadcasting service sectors, but that if it had, the total would be much greater. The organization pointed out the amount for unpaid mobile communications bills in 2003 was 780 billion won, and had doubled in two years. The growth rate for overdue payments in the fixed-line sector, however, was comparatively lower, as fewer people use fixed lines these days. “As more people, especially teenagers, use wireless Internet, the average rate per user has gone up. Also, high speed Internet penetration rates in households are close to 100 percent and higher telecommunication costs are burdening families,” an analyst said. by Wohn Dong-hee


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