LG U+ to roll out first unlimited-data plans for LTE

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LG U+ to roll out first unlimited-data plans for LTE

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LG U+, Korea’s third-largest mobile carrier, said yesterday it will release the nation’s first unlimited-data plans for customers who use smartphones supported by fourth-generation long-term evolution (LTE) networks on Jan. 31, fueling already heated up competition among mobile carriers?scrambling to win over more LTE subscribers.

The company said it will kick off a temporary promotion seeking LTE subscribers who are interested in switching or subscribing to unlimited data plans from Jan. 31 to April 30.

Unlimited data plans offered by LG U+ come in three types of monthly fees: 95,000 won ($88), 110,000 won and 130,000 won.

Each unlimited plan allows subscribers to use 14 gigabytes, 20 gigabytes and 24 gigabytes of data,?respectively,?for free per month. Even after they use up all the data, they will be able to use up to 3 gigabytes of data for free each day, the company said.

“Even after a customer uses up their daily limit of 3 extra gigabytes, they can still use data free but the connection speed will be limited to two megabits per second,” LG U+ said in a statement. “Although this is slower than the LTE data connection speed, it’s faster than on 3G networks.”

Currently, the nation’s three mobile carriers including No. 1 player SK Telecom and No. 2 KT offer LTE networks that are five times faster than 3G networks, but neither offer unlimited data service to LTE subscribers.

Mobile carriers offer unlimited data plans for 3G network subscribers for monthly charges of 55,000 won or more, but they haven’t released similar plans for LTE subscribers citing a possible data explosion and waning profitability. Their decision was criticized by heavy data users.

According to the mobile carriers, a combined 15.89 million people subscribed to LTE services in 2012, up 13.4 percent from 2011. When counting LTE subscribers only, LG U+ is the No. 2 player after SK Telecom.

Regarding aggressive moves by LG U+, SK Telecom said it is looking into introducing its own unlimited-data plans.


By Kim Mi-ju [mijukim@joongang.co.kr]

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