Korean telco KT Corp said it has reported rival LG Uplus to the country's communications watchdog for illegally luring subscribers.
Yonhap News Agency reported Tuesday that KT said it submitted a report to the Korea Communications Commission (KCC) requesting a "strict measure" on LG Uplus. It claimed LG Uplus received subscribers through illegal means, despite its business suspension stemming from excessive subsidy payments.
Since Monday, LG Uplus has been under a 24-day business suspension from attracting new subscribers. It was the first of three South Korean telcos to undergo suspension, as penalized by the KCC last month for dangling discriminative mobile subsidies to win customers. SK Telecom and KT will subsequently be blocked from taking on new subscriptions for 22 days and 20 days respectively. The KCC also fined the three carriers a combined 11.89 billion won (US$11.18 million).
LG Uplus responded, saying it had banned retailers from illegally receiving subscriptions, and will enforce the strongest measures against those found violating the policy.
It also said it "regrets that its rival firm exaggerated the situation" and pledged to fulfill the KCC's measures, Yonhap reported.
According to the report, a SK Telecom official also said it detected similar irregularities with LG Uplus, and planned to take the case to the KCC.
Competition between the three carriers has intensified as each wants to gain a bigger share of the 4G (fourth generation) or LTE (long-term evolution) market.
The number of LTE subscribers in South Korea reached 15.9 million at the end of last year, growing more than 13-fold from the previous year. This translates to some 40,000 new LTE subscriptions per daily, Yonhap pointed out.