SK Telecom chops initial phone subscription fee
Ahead of the start of iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus pre-orders today, mobile carriers and local manufacturers have begun expanding the amount of subsidies and lowering smartphone prices.
SK Telecom, the No. 1 mobile carrier, said yesterday it is eradicating subscription fees for the first time while expanding subsidies on five of the latest smartphone models including Samsung Electronics’ Galaxy Note 4.
Its subsidies on the Galaxy Note 4, Galaxy S5 Broadband A, Galaxy Alpha, Galaxy S4 LTE-A, LG G3 Cat 6 and G3A have increased 50,000 won to 100,000 won ($47 to $95).
The subsidy on the Galaxy Note 4 increased 109,000 won to 220,000 won. The subsidy on the Galaxy S5 LTE-A, launched in July and running on the broadband LTE-A network, rose 70,000 won to 250,000 won.
The subsidies on G3A and G3 Cat6, launched in August, both increased 50,000 won to 250,000 won.
LG Electronics lowered the prices of some of its smartphones and KT, the second largest mobile carrier, introduced a new monthly plan that eradicated the penalty for cancellation on Wednesday.
Following their moves, SK Telecom also announced the removal of a 11,880 won subscription fee charged when customers purchase a phone and subscribe to a monthly plan.
The company forecast that the dropping of the subscription fee will save 92 trillion won in communications costs for Korean consumers.
The government initially planned to gradually decrease the amount of subscription fees charged by mobile carriers and eradicate them by September 2015.
Meanwhile, Samsung Electronics finally lowered the price of the Galaxy S4 55,000 won to 644,600 won after LG lowered the prices of the G3A 55,000 won to 649,000 won and the G3 Beat 70,400 won to 429,000 won.
Mobile carriers SK Telecom, KT and LG U+ will compete to attract customers for the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus. They start receiving pre-orders for the devices today.
BY KIM JUNG-YOON [firstname.lastname@example.org]
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