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Home > mk Business News 프린트 이메일 전송 리스트
Mobile phone blacklist system goes into effect on May 1
2012.04.30 14:14:51 | 2012.04.30 16:31:24
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[Mobile phone blacklist system goes into effect on May 1] 기사의 본문 이미지

South Korea will be implementing a new ‘blacklist’ policy for mobile phone distribution on May 1, which will break the monopoly of telecom network operators on mobile phone sales and allow consumers to purchase phones at supermarkets, online shopping malls, and other stores operated by phone manufacturers.

The blacklist system is part of the price stabilization efforts launched by the Korea Communications Commission (KCC) since June last year. Under the blacklist system, consumers will be able to subscribe to mobile phone services for all phones purchased from retail outlets other than the stores run by network operators - with the exception of phones registered on the blacklist that have been reported as stolen or lost. This is the opposite of the current ‘white list policy’ that allows mobile service subscription only to phones registered by the telecom operators and sold at telecom stores. Therefore, the new system will allow mobile service for all phones purchased at nonaffiliated stores including products purchased overseas, as long as the product has compatible cellular frequencies.

This new policy will allow consumers to buy phones from a wider range of retail outlets including large supermarkets, phone manufacturers’ retail stores, and online malls, which can then be subscribed to mobile service at a later date. Under the current system, consumers can purchase phones only at network operator-affiliated stores, and are required to start service subscription directly upon purchase.

The blacklist system thus allows a wider range of choice for consumers by diversifying the mobile phone distribution structure. This measure is hoped to lower prices by introducing competition among retailers.

On the other hand, some experts argue that the policy may be counterproductive as it may cause telecom operators to withdraw their current mobile service discount deals, which could end up hurting consumers. The KCC is currently holding talks with telecom carriers to make sure consumers purchasing phones from nonaffiliated stores would not be disadvantaged in mobile service discounts.

The telecom carriers, phone manufacturers, and retailers are currently finalizing the changes to their computerized management system to implement the new policy on May 1.

[Written by Samji Chung / edited by Soyoung Chung]



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