SEOUL, Sept. 14 (Korea Bizwire) – A secret market for “golden phone numbers”, including mobile phones, company phone numbers and local numbers is known to exceed 26.7 billion won.
According to lawmaker Kwon Eun-hee of the main opposition New Politics Alliance for Democracy, who analyzed an Internet site where the golden numbers are traded, a total of 42,000 deals were made and the site’s sales rate surpassed 97 percent. In case of 01x operator identification numbers, they can be sold for up to 10 million won.
Currently, approximately 1.43 million mobile phone users are using phone numbers with such operator identification numbers as 016, 017 and 019 for their business activities or personal reasons. However, some are trading their rare numbers on illegal trading sites.
Business owners prefer such golden numbers for their businesses. For example, packing service operators want phone numbers with 2424, and fried chicken restaurant owners want 9999 as the numbers are easy to remember or resemble to the sound of roosters.
Kwon said, “Although the phone numbers are public assets, they have been repurposed for private interest. However, as we do not have any legal recourse, we cannot punish such activities. The government needs to crack down on the illegal trading of phone numbers, and implement strong actions such as retrieving the numbers.”
Meanwhile, she pointed out the presence of discrimination against such users with operator identification numbers, as the telecom industry has offered only four kinds of 2G devices for the last two years.
“The government needs to clarify the deadline for the integration of the operation identification number into 010, and prepare various measures to support them such as enabling them to use LTE networks with their existing numbers,” he added.
By Kevin Lee (firstname.lastname@example.org)