South Korea’s mobile operators are lukewarm to supporting Pantech, which may mean the end for the struggling handset vendor, according to Korea Times.

Apparently, SK Telecom, which is owed KRW90 billion ($89 million) by Pantech, has “serious questions” about the future of the company. And KT and LG Uplus, which are owed KRW45 billion each, appear to have a similar attitude.

Reports last month said that without the support of the three operators, Pantech faces either bankruptcy or an acquisition from an overseas player. The company has been linked with Micromax, although apparently the Indian player is not “enthused” by the prospect of a deal.

Korea Times said that Pantech’s creditors will make a formal decision whether to support a continued court receivership programme or not later this week.

Pantech is apparently arguing that its exit from the market will limit consumer choice, by strengthening the hands of its domestic rivals Samsung and LG Electronics.

Samsung and Qualcomm, which both own stakes in Pantech and are suppliers to the company, are said to be “closely monitoring the situation” – while also looking for an exit strategy.