중앙데일리

SKT to stop billing in 10-second bits

Feb 25,2010
When a mobile phone user makes an 11-second call in Korea, he or she is charged for a 20-second one.

Ever since 1984, when mobile service was first introduced here, Koreans have paid their fees for mobile service this way, in 10-second lumps rather than one-second intervals.

SK Telecom, the country’s No. 1 mobile carrier, announced yesterday that beginning next month it will change its billing scheme and start charging customers on a per second basis. SK will be the first company to do so among Korea’s top three mobile service providers.

According to SK, some 25 million users will benefit from this change, and in total, it said, customers are expected to save 16.8 billion won ($14.5 million) every month.

“Korea is only the fifth country to adopt a charging system like this, after France, Ireland, Poland and Slovakia. It’s meaningful in that we have reflected demands from society,” the company said in a release.

High fees for mobile service have been a subject of criticism for some time now, with Korea Communications Commission Chairman Choi See-joong discussing the issue in public on several occasions.

Civic groups are now urging SK’s competitors KT and LG to follow suit. KT, the country’s largest telecommunications company, said it doesn’t plan to adopt a per-second charging system, while LG said it will adopt one soon.


By Kim Hyung-eun [hkim@joongang.co.kr]




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