September’s thrifty phone subscribers topped 4.1 million

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September’s thrifty phone subscribers topped 4.1 million

Subscribers to altteul, or thrifty phones, reached 4.1 million at the end of September, according to the Ministry of Science, ICT and Future Planning yesterday, almost triple the amount in early 2013.

The government started to allow thrifty phone companies to operate by renting space on the networks of the three major carriers in 2012.

The number of users has gradually increased since state-run Korea Post started selling them last year.

Of the thrifty phone users, 7.5 percent of customers have LTE, 86 percent have 3G smartphones and 6.5 percent have 2G feature phones.

The ministry said it hopes the number of LTE customers will increase after it recently released cheap LTE plans at almost half the price compared with the nation’s three large carriers.

The Mobile Device Distribution Improvement Act, which took effect on Oct. 1, is expected to boost sales of thrifty phones.
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