SK launches mobile data plans that families can share
The T Plan offers five different amounts of data, ranging from 1.2 gigabytes for 33,000 won ($29) to unlimited for 100,000 won. Voice calls per month also range from 100 minutes to unlimited.
Given that most subscribers choose 25 percent discounts on their monthly fees instead of a lump-sum discount on a new phone, the actual amount most subscribers have to pay for the new plans will be between 20,000 won and 70,000 won.
The T Plan is meant to “reduce the communications gap between users nationwide and revitalize the media service industry,” according to Suh Sung-won, the head of SK Telecom’s mobile network business, at a press conference at the company headquarters on Wednesday.
Suh said that the plans reflect the result of the carrier’s recent study of its subscribers’ lifestyles. It showed that many people gained free time due to the introduction of the 52-hour work week, so they are using more and more mobile data.
The two most expensive plans - the 100,000 won, unlimited Infinity plan and Family, which offers 150 gigabytes of data for 79,000 won - allow subscribers to share data with their family members. All family members must be SK Telecom subscribers and must migrate to the T Plan to take advantage of the plan.
People who subscribe to the other plans can receive 20 gigabytes of more data per month if one family member subscribes to the Family plan. Family members of Infinity plan subscribers can receive 40 gigabytes of data. The shared data size can be adjusted for each individual and up to five family members can advantage of the plan.
SK Telecom says there are 16 million SK subscribers who also have family members using the same carrier. SK Telecom and Korea’s other two major telecoms, KT and LG U+, have been offering discounts to families as a tactic to widen their consumer base.
The Large plan will cost 69,000 won for 100 gigabytes of data, which is nearly 10 times the amount of data offered to the existing subscribers of the Band Data Perfect plan. This plan is the same price but only offers 11 gigabytes of data.
The cheapest among the T Plans, called Small, charges 33,000 won for 1.2 gigabytes of data, four times more than the 300 megabytes offered by the existing Band Data Save plan, which costs 32,890 won.
To help subscribers to the two cheapest plans save costs even further, SK Telecom will count only one-fourth of the data used between midnight and 7 a.m. This will benefit those who work before dawn, such as deliverymen and drivers, the carrier explained. Korea’s No. 1 carrier is following in the footsteps of other telecom companies as it comes up with plans that comply with government orders to lower the price of cell phone plans.
Korea’s smallest mobile carrier, LG U+, began offering unlimited data for 88,000 won in February, and KT began charging 89,000 won for the same option at the end of May.
BY SEO JI-EUN [firstname.lastname@example.org]
with the Korea JoongAng Daily
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