Post office rolls out new data-oriented cell plan

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Post office rolls out new data-oriented cell plan

A leading budget phone carrier says a new data-oriented billing plan will be available starting today, joining the major carriers’ bids to cater to a wider range of Korean cell phone users.

Korea Post, the main vendor of multiple budget brands, said yesterday that it will be signing up subscribers today to new monthly plans that offer four levels of data service: 300 megabytes and one, two and six gigabytes per month, allowing customers to cater to their digital data habits.

Monthly contract prices range from 20,000 ($17.74) won to 36,900 won, up to 13,000 won per month cheaper than similar billing plans offered by the nation’s three largest telecoms: SK Telecom, KT and LG U+.

The new plan also falls in line with the market leaders in throwing open Korea Post’s bandwidth to unlimited voice calls and texts.

Budget plans tend to attract an older client base; 77 percent of subscribers are people in their 40s and above. Many customers not weaned on digital gadgets tend to stick to feature phones and simple, voice-oriented monthly plans with no data access.

But Korea Post, the nation’s postal service, has seen a steady increase in the number of subscribers younger than 40. That client base reached 23 percent of the total last month, and the post office says it hopes to attract more young customers with its data plans.

To do so, the post office said it would double the number of locations with a phone service window. Starting today, such services will be available at 1,300 post offices nationwide.

The push for budget phone service began with a government initiative; President Park Geun-hye made a reduction in telecom bills a plank in her 2012 presidential campaign platform.

According to the Ministry of Science, the average revenue per user of budget phone carriers is about 10,610 won, while that of the three major carriers is 36,400 won per head.


BY KIM JI-YOON [im.jiyoon@joongang.co.kr]

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