Controversy over high cost of Korea’s LTE Data rate
Controversy over high cost of Korea’s LTE Data rate
  • Lee Jun-sung
  • 승인 2018.05.10 09:27
  • 댓글 0
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A survey result suggesting that South Korea’s LTE data rate is 70 times higher than that of Finland is stirring controversy. Finnish management consulting firm Rewheel recently made the announcement, adding that this would mean that Korea ranked second among the 41 countries in the latest LTE pricing situation in the first half of 2018. 

The survey covered thousands of mobile fares in 41 countries, including the European Union (EU) and member countries of the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD). 

In particular, Rewheel focused on LTE plans that provide more than 3Mbps (megabits per second) of data and more than 1000 minutes of free voice calls. 

The survey found that Korea’s LTE data price was 13.9 euros per GB (about 16.6 dollars per GB). The unlisted country that was ranked first was 16 euros (19.14 dollars), Canada was third with 9.6 euros (11.5 dollars), and the United States followed with 7 euros (8.4 dollars). Finland, which ranked 41st, was the cheapest at 0.2 euros (0.24 dollars).  

On the other hand, the data price of the EU countries is 2.3 euros (2.75 dollars) and for OECD countries the average is 2.9 euros (3.5 dollars). South Korea was 39th out of 41 countries with 1GB of data available under 30 euros (34.2 dollars). 

Ten countries including Finland, Denmark, and the Netherlands had unlimited data, and six countries, including Britain, France and Israel, had more than 100 GB of data. In response to the results of the survey, civic groups said it was clear that ‘Korea Telecom was expensive’.

Mobile operators, however, argued that the survey was limited to ‘free voice calls over 1,000 minutes,’ which makes it less representative. While Korea provides almost unlimited voice calls even with relatively high data rates, Europe does not have such benefits. For this reason, mobile operators pointed out that prices are based on low-priced services in Korea and high-priced services in Europe. 

Meanwhile, experts say that South Korea is the most severe in terms of user discrimination, such as the difference in data between low price and high price systems. For example, a 54.8 rate plan (50.88 dollars) of a telecom company is about 8.34 dollars per GB, but the 65.8 rate plan (61.08 dollars) is greatly reduced to 0.85 dollars. 


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