KT accuses SKT of exceeding subsidy cap

Dylan Bushell-Embling
telecomasia.net

South Korea's KT has accused SK Telecom of again violating regulated caps on handset subsidies, in the latest spat between the rival operators.

SK Telecom offered excessively high subsidies for the iPhone 6 and Samsung Galaxy Note 4 during the past weekend, KT has alleged.

KT said some SK Telecom outlets offered subsidies exceeding 450,000 won ($416) on certain handsets, the Korea Times reported. The operator is calling for “strict legal penalties” for exceeding subsidy caps even after the introduction of tighter regulations covering the practice.

This would be another violation of the regulator-mandated cap on smartphone subsidies. All three of Korea's operators have been fined and censured with service suspensions for exceeding these caps in the past.

Regulator KCC sets the subsidy ceiling every six months, using a range of between 250,000 won and 300,000 won.

A spokesperson for SK Telecom told the Korea Times that the company does not plan to respond to KT's allegations at this time, but noted that excessive subsidies are often independently set by retailers over which the operator has no direct control.  

KT's accusation comes shortly after the company filed legal action against SK Telecom, accusing its rival of deceptive advertising with its claim of commercializing South Korea's first tri-band LTE-A network.

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