The country's four telecommunications companies saw their sales surge over the past five years amid growing calls for a reduction in phone bills, a report showed on Thursday.
SK Telecom Co., KT Corp., LG Uplus Corp. and SK Broadband Co. logged a combined sales of 237.26 trillion won (US$220 billion) since 2008 through the first half of the year, according to the report submitted by the Ministry of Science, ICT and Future Planning to Rep. Kang Dong-won.
The figure compares with the nation's budget of 357.7 trillion won for next year, the report showed.
By company, KT racked up sales of 107.54 trillion won during the cited period, followed by SK Telecom with 67.5 trillion won and LG Uplus with 50.29 trillion won, it showed.
The report also showed that their combined operating income reached 21.88 trillion won during the cited period. SK Telecom posted the largest operating income of 10.99 trillion won, trailed by KT with 8.1 trillion won and LG Uplus with 2.7 trillion won.
The Park Geun-hye administration is seeking to lower mobile rates by abolishing mobile phone subscription fees as part of efforts to ease financial burdens on households.
Starting last month, local mobile operators began to phase out sign-up fees for mobile phone services. The fee currently ranges from 24,000 won to 39,000 won. The ministry expects that the elimination of mobile subscription fees will cut the combined mobile charges by around 500 billion won annually.