Korea big 3 slow MVNO customer losses

03 OCT 2018

South Korea’s major mobile operators stemmed a flow of customers to low-cost MVNOs in the first nine months of the year after lowering the price of unlimited plans to attract new business, Yonhap News Agency reported.

The number of customers moving from the major players to MVNOs dropped 18.7 per cent year-on-year to about 442,000, and the number switching from MVNOs to the big three increased 6.2 per cent to about 494,000, data from Korea Telecommunications Operators Association (KTOA) showed.

That works out to a net gain of 52,000 for SK Telecom (SKT), KT and LG Uplus in the January to September period.

The average price for an unlimited data plan fell to about KRW60,000 ($53.64) per month, KTOA said.

All three major operators recorded subscriber gains during the period. Market leader SKT, with a 48 per cent market share, added 301,000 subs year-on-year to take its total to 29.2 million at end-September, figures from GSMA Intelligence showed. KT added 146,000 for a total of 18.8 million and a 31 per cent market share, while LG Uplus added 300,000, taking its total to 12.6 million and a 21 per cent share.

As part of the government’s ongoing push to reduce household telecoms expenses, the Ministry of Science and ICT in September 2017 raised the level of discount mobile operators must offer customers who sign up for new one- or two-year contracts from 20 per cent to 25 per cent.

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Joseph Waring

Joseph Waring joins Mobile World Live as the Asia editor for its new Asia channel. Before joining the GSMA, Joseph was group editor for Telecom Asia for more than ten years. In addition to writing features, news and blogs, he...

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