South Korean operators to undergo further business suspensions

South Korean operators are expected to be hit with a further business suspension from the country’s telecoms watchdog, according to local reports.

SK Telecom, KT and LG UPlus – South Korea’s top three mobile operators – have been accused on several occasions of giving out subsidies in order to win customers over from their rivals.

Last week, a 45-day business suspension was announced by the Ministry of Science, ICT and Future Planning in the country, and the Korea Communications Commission (KCC) will reportedly announce further disciplinary measures on Thursday.

The suspension is expected to take effect during May 2014 and industry sources said that the measures form part of a government plan to stop operators from using subsidies to grow their client bases.

An official from a local, unnamed mobile carrier said that if the KCC imposed another business suspension, it would be closing its doors for a third of H1 2014.

“It is inevitable that we will suffer setbacks in earnings,” he said.

South Korea’s leading operator, SK Telecom, is in the process of developing its tri-band LTE-A solutions, and country officials announced in January this year that South Korea was investing $1.5 billion in the launch of 5G.

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