Korean operators hit with record fine for 5G subsidies

Korean operators hit with record fine for 5G subsidies

South Korea levied a record KRW51.2 billion ($42.8 million) fine on operators for continued subsidy regulation breaches, this time relating to building their 5G user base, Yonhap News Agency reported.

The Korea Communications Commission (KCC) imposed the largest penalty of KRW22.3 billion on market leader SK Telecom, with KT fined KRW15.4 billion and LG Uplus KRW13.5 billion, the news agency stated.

It reportedly took action following an investigation on handset subsidies offered to 5G subscribers between April 2019 and August 2019.

In early 2018, the operators were fined a combined KRW50.6 billion for illegal handset subsidies. They were also penalised multiple times between 2014 and 2016 for ignoring a KRW330,000 handset subsidy cap.

Last month the Ministry of Science ICT and Future Planning began assessing the quality of 5G services available following complaints and contract cancellations.

The operators launched non-standalone 5G service in early April 2019 and had a combined 5.89 million subscribers by end-March.


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