The Ministry of Information and Communication made an agreement with Blue House Public Welfare and announced a way to encourage voluntary payment competitions between telecoms companies to make mobile phone payment plans affordable for the elderly and minors. "We understand that the matter of the reduction of the payment should adjust in accordance to market functions, but noting its difficulty due to lack of competition, we as the government felt the necessity to take charge and set a policy to lead the market," Minister Yoo began.
Teenagers will no longer be charged with data usage costs from the fourth quarter of 2007. This teenager plan will include data usage privileges, and teenagers will be able to use it within reasonable limits. The affordable plan was already set for the elderly and disabled in August. The new plan will charge elderly customers a 10,000 won basic fee, and each call will be 20 won every 10 seconds. Disabled customers are eligible for a 15,400 basic fee that will include 1000 free SMS and 60 minutes of video chat.
A plan is also set for those who use cell phones only in emergencies. For them, the basic fee has been a rip off so far. For those who rarely use phones, the basic fee will be reduced to 9,900 won, and each call will be 20 won every ten seconds. The pre pay phone card started at 10,000 won before, but now 5,000 won pre pay phone cards will be available. Text messages are on deliberation to be reduced from 30 won to 20 won, and calls made between users of the same telecom will be discounted.
Minister Yoo concluded: "The MIC will continue to stand up for the citizens' benefit to find ways to encourage competitions in the mobile telecommunication market."