LG U+, KT, SK Telecom offer unlimited data plans

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LG U+, KT, SK Telecom offer unlimited data plans

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LG U Vice Chairman Lee Sang-cheol, second from right, announcing the launch of the country’s first unlimited LTE service during a press event yesterday. Provided by the company

LG U+ yesterday launched the nation’s first unlimited mobile service package, a move was echoed later in the day by SK Telecom and KT, which both announced that they would offer a similar service.

The move follows a massive business suspension imposed on the nation’s top three mobile operators for offering excessive subsidies, and some observers say it may put an end to the era in which operators compete to offer the best discounts.

At a press conference held at Westin Chosun Hotel, central Seoul, LG U+ Vice Chairman Lee Sang-cheol said the nation’s third-largest mobile carrier is offering a service plan with unlimited voice calls, messaging and LTE data for 80,000 won ($75.62) and 85,000 won.

A variety of LTE plans referred to as “unlimited LTE” have been offered in the past by the three mobile carriers, but none of those plans actually provided unlimited LTE data service.

The unlimited LTE 80 and unlimited LTE 85 plans launched by LG U+ yesterday are offering unlimited LTE data, along with unlimited voice calls and messaging.

The 80,000 won plan includes additional services such as the cloud service U+Box and navigation system U+Navi, and the 85,000 won plan provides more services such as U+HDTV, U+Professional Baseball and Ticket Planet.

“It is now time that all three mobile carriers must break away from the extreme subsidy competition,” Lee said. “LG U+ plans to lead the paradigm shift in the competition to provide more benefits to customers.”

As part of the new plan offered by LG U+, when data usage exceeds 2 gigabytes a day, the LTE speed will be limited to 3 megabits per second. It said that users should be able to save around 90,000 won a month.

“Even if the speed is limited to 3 megabits per second, there is absolutely no problem watching high-definition videos,” Vice Chairman Lee said. “We’re only limiting the speed to counter the possibility that some might commercially exploit the service.”

Half an hour into the press conference held by LG U+, No. 1 mobile carrier SK Telecom announced its own LTE unlimited plan, upgrading the existing LTE unlimited 75 Plus package, LTE unlimited 85 and LTE unlimited 100. Subscribers to those existing plans will automatically receive the benefits of the new LTE data plan.

While the unlimited LTE plan by LG U+ limits download speed after 2 gigabytes are used in one day, SK Telecom’s unlimited data plan limits the speed if more than 10 gigabytes, 14 gigabytes or 16 gigabytes are used, according to different data plans.

The price is also slightly cheaper than that of LG U+, as subscribers of a 24-month contract can get the unlimited LTE data plan for 61,250 won.

KT announced late yesterday that it would offer unlimited LTE, calling and messaging for 70,000 won beginning Monday.

LG U+ vice chairman Lee and the company’s managing directors expressed frustration during the press briefing at the unexpected launch of SK Telecom’s unlimited data plan. “SK Telecom’s move does not conform to trading ethics. We have been preparing for this product since three months ago and finally launched it at a press conference. SK Telecom had absolutely no plan until yesterday and came up with the plan in 30 minutes only to throw cold waters on our efforts,” said Lee.

BY KIM JUNG-YOON [kjy@joongang.co.kr]


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