Korean Government Bans New Wireless Sign-Ups

A temporary ban on wireless operators from signing on new subscribers will cool the overly competitive Korean market and prevent companies from spending heavily on marketing, enabling them to invest on network and facilities instead, an official at the Korea Communications Commission said.

“The suspension ban won’t hurt these companies significantly because as we saw back in 2002, the operating environment for service providers improved with a decline in marketing expenses,” Park Syung-kyoo, standing commissioner of the KCC, told Dow Jones Newswires in a recent interview.

The seven-member panel of the government-run agency under the Ministry of Information and Communication, which includes Park, recommended earlier this month a temporarily ban of wireless operators such as SK Telecom Co., KTF Co. and LG Telecom Co. from signing on new subscribers because they provided illegal handset subsidies.

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