SK Telecom has reported a 28.1% year-on-year decline in net profit for the third quarter due in part to the regulator-mandated elimination of sign-up fees.
The operator reported a net income of 381.8 billion won ($338.3 million), from revenue of 4.26 trillion won.
Revenue declined 2.4% year-on-year due to the abolition of sign-on fees as well as an interconnection fee reduction.
Under pressure from regulators South Korea's three mobile operators agreed in 2013 to phase out sign-on fees altogether by this year.
During the third quarter SK Telecom continued to grow its LTE subscriber base, ending September with nearly 18.5 million 4G customers, representing 64.8% of total mobile subscribers.
Marketing activities aimed at existing customers meanwhile led to SK Telecom reporting a churn rate for the third quarter of 1.4%, the lowest among South Korean operators.
The operator noted that during the third quarter it had made progress with its new growth strategy, which focuses on its lifestyle enhancement, advanced media and IoT service platforms.
“SK Telecom will continue to transform the telecommunication market competition paradigm by focusing on delivering greater benefits to our customers through strengthened competitiveness of our products and services,” the operator's CFO Lee Yong-hwan said.
“At the same time, we will maximize the corporate value by aggressively promoting our next-generation platform business.”