Proposals in South Korea to scrap base contract fees were criticised by operators fighting the intervention, and consumer groups which say the legislation doesn’t go far enough.
The Korea Herald reported comments from consumer group Green Consumer Network (GCN) and an anonymous source at one of the country’s leading operators, with widely different perspectives on plans to lower mobile bills by removing the base price charged to end users.
Critics at the GCN said the government backtracked on initial pledges to outlaw base charges for all mobile contracts. The group claimed President Moon Jae-in’s initial promise had been amended to a policy omitting 4G tariffs from the regulation.
According to the newspaper, operators in the country believe the policy is unfeasible and will lead to the loss of $6.2 billion across the industry.
The operator source noted there are already a range of tariffs available tailored to low earners and other groups the government’s policy was designed to help. A further cut, the representative said, would be “very difficult”.
Korea’s proposal fits with a wider bid to cut consumer prices for telecoms services in the country.
During May, the country’s Constitutional Court approved a law to reduce handset subsidies.