SEOUL, Feb. 15 (Korea Bizwire) – A study conducted by the Green Consumer Network in Korea and Democratic Party of Korea lawmaker Park Hong-keun revealed that 75.3 percent of South Korean adults (1,000 surveyed) feel burdened by their telecommunications expenses.
One third of the respondents said their cell phone bills had increased under the current administration, while only 6.7 percent said they decreased. Another 38 percent said they remained unchanged.
Of the respondents, 38.6 percent were paying 50,000 to 100,000 won ($43.73 to $87.47) per month in telecommunication fees, followed by 30,000 to 50,000 won at 37 percent. The data also showed that 4.9 percent were paying more than 100,000 won.
The study also noted that 50.7 percent of MVNO (mobile virtual network operator), or budget network provider, users were paying an average of 10,000 to 30,000 won each month.
However, despite the affordability of MVNO plans, elements such as poor customer service and membership benefits (41.3 percent), low brand reliability (20.2 percent), and potentially poor call service quality (14.7 percent) were discouraging consumers from subscribing to budget carriers.
When subscribing to a mobile plan, 41.3 percent of respondents were most sensitive to the plan’s price, followed by the price of the mobile device (20.2 percent), the service provider (12.7 percent), and voice call quality (7.3 percent), indicating that purchasing decision were primarily driven by economic factors.
The study also revealed that 49.2 percent of respondents were using data more than they used voice minutes, and 47.1 percent of study participants said they felt they needed more monthly data.
“Contrary to government claims that official policies helped reduce telecommunications fees, many consumers saw things differently,” Park said. “Various measures, including introducing a fourth major telecommunications company (from the current big three) and further support of MVNOs, need to be considered to more effectively bring down telecommunications fees for consumers.”
By Kevin Lee (firstname.lastname@example.org)