Data plans attract five million users

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Data plans attract five million users

The number of subscribers to new monthly smartphone plans based on the amount of data used surpassed 5 million as of Tuesday, according to data compiled by the telecommunications industry.

The data plans were introduced on May 8 by KT and LG U+, and SK Telecom followed suit.

SK Telecom, the top operator, has attracted 2.6 million users, followed by KT with 1.5 million and the smallest player, LG U+, with 1.03 million. The combined 5.13 million users make up about 12.3 percent of Korea’s smartphone users, which total 41.7 million.

With data-centered plans, the monthly fees vary depending on how much data the subscriber wants to use. Voice calls and text messages are limitless. The new data plans could potentially reduce costs for overall mobile plans.

For instance, if an SK Telecom subscriber chooses to pay 29,900 won ($26.1) per month, the cheapest package, the default data ceiling offered is 300 megabytes. For 6.5 gigabytes, the monthly fee is 51,000 won.

When the monthly payment exceeds 61,000 won, the data becomes a massive 11 gigabytes, plus daily refills of 2 gigabytes.

Only users of long-term evolution (LTE) phones can subscribe to the data-based plans.


BY SEO JI-EUN [seo.jieun@joongang.co.kr]

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