LG U+ wows market with unlimited data plans

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LG U+ wows market with unlimited data plans

The nation’s No. 3 mobile carrier, LG U+, regained more than 24,000 subscribers over the weekend and through Monday after it concluded its business suspension.

According to the Korea Telecommunications Operators Association yesterday, in the three days between April 5 and April 7, 24,336 people subscribed to LG U+.

In other words, LG U+ attracted 8,112 people per day, which is 30 percent higher than the average daily subscription of 6,262 at SK Telecom.

“It seems that the recently launched unlimited long-term evolution [LTE] data plan at 80,000 won [$76.98] seems to have had a positive impact,” said a spokesman for LG U+.

LG U+ launched the nation’s first unlimited 4G mobile service package last week, offering a plan with unlimited voice calls, messaging and LTE data for 80,000 won and 85,000 won.

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

Also, when a subscriber signs a 24-month contract for a plan and purchases a new smart device, the mobile carrier discounts 15,000 won per month.

Sales of the new Galaxy S5 smartphone also acted as a positive factor in attracting customers from other carriers, analysts said.

“As the Galaxy S5 was first released in the market by SK Telecom and the buyers of the Galaxy S5 gave it favorable reviews, LG U+, which is the sole operator in the market, benefited from it,” said an analyst at a local securities company.

After it released the Galaxy S5, SK Telecom got 7,523 new subscribers per day compared to 5,450 new subscribers before the release.

“Since we launched the unlimited data plan, six times more customers are calling sales branches to make inquiries,” said a spokesman for LG U+.

Meanwhile, as the number of subscribers to LG U+ increases rapidly, competitors SK Telecom and KT raised suspicions that the third-largest carrier might have provided subsidies on smartphones.

LG U+ has the market to itself because the other two carriers are under business suspensions, punishments for having offered customers illegal subsidies in the past.

LG U+ said its high number of new subscribers is due to the fact that it’s currently the only carrier in the market, along with its unlimited LTE data plan.

As an underdog, it also has more potential to gain new business. “We have more customers to attract than the No. 1 mobile carrier,” said a spokesman for LG U+.

LG U+ is planning a variety of marketing promotions such as TV and newspaper ads.

It recently aired two TV advertisements for its unlimited data plans.

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

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