SEOUL, Nov. 3 (Korea Bizwire) – For two days since October 31 when all three mobile telecom service operators began offering iPhone 6 for new subscribers, only LG Uplus was able to show subscriber number increase by a large margin.
In the number portability sweepstake launched in earnest after the October 31 introduction of the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus, LG Uplus reported a net increase of 4,446, while SK Telecom and KT saw their customer numbers shrink by 726 and 3,720, respectively.
The following day on November 1 even though the day fell on Saturday, all telecom service offices stayed open for the first time in years and LG Uplus posted again the largest new portability customer numbers by 2,020. SK Telecom and KT said their net customer numbers drop by 456 and 1,564 each.
Analysts said this is largely because the latecomer is offering more generous subsidies and taking off the residual value of the new handset when charging the final price, for which the market responds favorably. Indeed, comparison of subsidy packages offered by three telecom firms shows that it is LG Uplus that pays most handset subsidies. For example, when a customer opts for the “LTE Ultimate Unlimited 123″ rate plan with an iPhone 6, LG Uplus gives away 255,300 won as subsidies.
Not to be outdone, KT and SK Telecom will fight back to regain customers, which will surely heat up the market further despite the newly introduced law to restrict excessive competition in luring away others’ customers.
By Sean Chung (firstname.lastname@example.org)