The number of subscribers in South Korea changing mobile operators last year fell nearly 20 per cent to a 13-year low, following moves by the government to reduce annual household telecoms expenses, The Korea Herald reported.
Data from the Korea Telecommunications Operators Association (KTOA) showed 5.66 million subscribers switched service providers in 2018, with the monthly average falling to about 472,000.
Churn at SK Telecom, the market leader with a 48 per cent share of mobile subscribers, decreased 22.5 per cent from the previous year to 1.9 million; at KT it fell 20.6 per cent to 1.39 million; and at LG Uplus it dropped to 1.36 million, the newspaper said, citing KTOA data. The remainder of the customer transfers were at smaller mobile operators.
In August 2017 the government pushed through President Moon Jae-in’s campaign promise to cut telecoms expenses by increasing the discount mobile operators must offer customers who sign up for new one- or two-year contracts. The move came shortly before a controversial handset subsidy limit was discontinued after being in effect for three years.
Korea Communications Commission chief Lee Hyo-seong at the time called on the country’s operators to play fair and refrain from engaging in cut-throat competition after the cap was scrapped.Subscribe to our daily newsletter Back