KT Korea Phone Cuts Service Rate

South Korea’s telecom giant KT Corp. is considering cutting its monthly service rates by 1,000 won (US$ 0.93) in line with the government’s efforts to stem high inflation, a company official said Wednesday.

“We’ve mapped out a draft plan to lower mobile phone rates,” said an official from KT. “We are in talks with the government over the plan and it will be decided soon.”

KT’s move came after the country’s top mobile carrier SK Telecom Co. decided to cut the mobile rates by 8 percent starting from September. KT controls about a third of the country’s wireless market, while SK Telecom takes up about half.

Inflationary pressure is building up in Asia’s fourth-largest economy. South Korea’s consumer prices jumped 4.7 percent in July from a year ago, accelerating from a 4.4 percent rise tallied the previous month.

In March, the government launched a task force, which consists of government officials, industry representatives, consumer advocates and experts, to discuss ways to ease phone rates which have risen sharply with the spread of smartphones.

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