Wednesday, January 02, 2008

South Korea - cutting fees

Telecoms Miffed at Pressure to Slash Fees

Telecom service providers are disgruntled that the authorities will force them to cut their hefty charges for mobile phone use after the presidential Transition Committee announced a plan to slash oil taxes and lower mobile phone fees as a way to help the people save living costs.

The telecom industry criticized the incoming government for intervening in the fee-setting process of corporations despite ostensibly championing business-friendly policies. The Transition Committee on Sunday laid out a scheme to cut mobile phone charges by 20 percent and the Information and Communication Ministry is already promoting a revision of laws to stimulate the introduction of mobile virtual network operators (MVNO).

Once that happens, telecom providers will face stiff competition to lower mobile fees. MVNOs are companies without their own telecommunication networks that would provide the service by leasing the facilities from the big telecom firms like SK Telecom. A ministry official predicted the measure will trigger drastic fee reductions as telecom providers compete to stay in play. He said the measure could go into effect in the first half of the year if it gets parliamentary approval in January.

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