SEOUL, May 8 (Korea Bizwire) — Newly released research findings show that Koreans pay 70 times more for smartphone data plans than Finns, and rank second highest on a list of 41 countries.
Rewheel, an international business consulting firm based in Finland, recently analyzed thousands of data plans in 41 countries either belong to the EU and or OECD and published a report on the state of “4G pricing for the 1st half of 2018.”
In terms of its methodology of research, Rewheel analyzed 4G LTE plans that provided speeds of 3 megabytes of data per second in addition to 1,000 minutes of airtime.
The analysis showed that Korean telecommunication firms charged customers 13.90 euros (17,906 won) per gigabyte, which was the second highest among the 41 nations. The top-ranked country was not named in the report.
Third on the list was Canada at 9.50 euros and the U.S. came fifth at 7 euros. Data plans in Finland were the least expensive, just one-seventieth of Korea’s, as Finnish service providers charged 0.20 euros per gigabyte.
Comparing this recent report with data from the second half of last year showed that prices per gigabyte in Korea rose 0.50 euros while Finland’s went down by 0.10 euros in the same period.
In a separate analysis of the data included for 4G data plans below 30 euros (38,646 won), Korean telecommunication firms ranked 39th out of 41 countries, which meant that local firms offered less data.
Firms in 10 countries including Finland, Denmark and the Netherlands offered unlimited data while data plan subscribers in six countries such as the U.K., France and Italy were offered 100 gigabytes or more.
However, Korean mobile operators have refuted Rewheel’s recent study, stating that the data plans studied by the Finnish consulting firm did not match the conventional data consumption habits of Korean subscribers.
In addition, the study did not take into consideration Korea’s highly developed data-friendly environment.
Yet another rebuttal claimed that the data plans used for analysis differed for each country while the low-cost data plans from Korea were not included in the study.
Although the findings may not be conclusive and require further research, some say that Korean data providers are expensive.
“Rewheel’s findings may not be flawless but our research shows that Korean mobile operators charge much more than other countries,” said Ahn Jin-geol, a director at the People’s Livelihood Economy Research Institute.
Kevin Lee (firstname.lastname@example.org)