South Korea Changing Cellular Service PoliciesBy: Mike Fossum - May 4, 2012
South Korea plans to further implement a new blacklisting policy regarding mobile device distribution on May 1st, in an effort to breakup telecom monopolies in that country. The new deal would make mobile devices more readily available for sale, allowing consumers to pick up phones in malls, supermarkets, gas stations, device manufacturer factory stores, etc.
SK Telecom and KT are presently the largest service providers in South Korea, and presently sell the vast majority of phones that work on their network. The new ‘blacklist,’ fostered by the Korea Communications Commission (KCC) was launched last June, and also seeks to better stabilize cell phone price points, which have been historically established by the aforementioned telecoms – who have practiced a ‘white list policy,’ forcing users to buy their products. Soon, if a device is compatible with a network in the region, it can be used regardless of where it was purchased. The new competition the program will facilitiate is hoped to drive down prices.
Some critics of the policy state that the big telecoms will withhold deals from blacklist clients, and favor white list customers, which would drive up service prices. Either way, carriers, device manufacturers and retailers are all aligning under a computerized management database for the May 1st deadline.