Korea Post to expand thrifty phone outlets

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Korea Post to expand thrifty phone outlets

Thrifty MVNO smartphone retailer Korea Post said yesterday it will expand the number of post offices selling thrifty phones to 359 from 226. MVNOs, or mobile virtual network operators, are smaller mobile operators that provide cheaper phones to consumers.

Korea Post will sell thrifty phones at post offices in rural areas so that residents of small towns as well as farming and fishing villages can easily purchase affordable smartphones. The agency said it plans to sell thrifty phones at 600 post offices by the end of this year.

Korea Post has been selling smartphones since Sept. 27 and attracted 100,000 subscribers in seven months, mainly those in their 50s who typically use voice calls and flip phones.

“We will recommend the most affordable monthly plans and smartphones to customers to better satisfy their needs,” said Kim Joon-ho, general manager of Korea Post.

In addition to more retail locations, Korea Post will also increase the number of flip phones available to seven from five and diversify monthly plans for those who use voice calls a lot, offering 50 minutes for 3,000 won ($2.95) and introducing unlimited voice call plans.

Meanwhile, MVNO operator SK Telink said it will launch an optimized phone plan in the 30,000 won range under which subscribers can use voice calls, data and SMS.

For instance, if a subscriber uses voice calls only, he can use up to 166 minutes; up to 600 megabytes if he uses only data. On a two-year contract, the monthly fee would be about 15,900 won.

“The newly launched monthly plan allows users to adjust the plan by using voice calls, data and SMS according to their individual use patterns,” said Song Jae-geun, head of the MVNO business division at SK Telink.

“We will continue to introduce differentiated plans and services that will meet the future needs of various customers and provide a substantial rate cut.”

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

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