Thrifty devices account for 5.2% of mobile phone market

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Thrifty devices account for 5.2% of mobile phone market

Thrifty phones now account for 5.2 percent of Korea’s 55 million mobile phones, the Ministry of Science, ICT and Future Planning reported yesterday.

Users of thrifty phones numbered 2.87 million as of the end of last month, the ministry said.

Thrifty phones, which were introduced in Korea in July 2011, are offered by mobile virtual network operators (MVNOs). MVNOs provide wireless communication services by leasing network infrastructure from the three large mobile carriers. MVNO fees are 30 percent to 50 percent cheaper than SK Telecom, KT and LG U+. There are 28 MVNOs in Korea.

Thrifty phones gained popularity in recent weeks as the three major mobile carriers served 45-day business suspensions for offering excessive subsidies.

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