In the “news that impacts 0% of our readers, but is strange enough to warrant sharing” category, reports from South Korea say that KT, the country’s second largest wireless operator, will immediately stop offering unlimited mobile data to customers using WiBro (the local version of WiMAX) because — and we’re not making this up — 0.002% of their users consume roughly 700 GB of data per month. To provide some context, assuming there are 30 days in a month, that’s 23.3 GB per day, the equivalent of your computer downloading nonstop at a continuous rate of 283.18 kilobytes per second. An official from KT says that these bandwidth hogs create “network problems for most average users”, which is the understatement of the century considering 99.8% of their users consume on average less than 50 GB per month. How much would 700 GB of data cost if you were using America’s fastest network, Verizon’s 4G LTE? They charge $80 per month for 10 GB, and then $10 for every 1 GB after that, so you’re looking at $6,980 before tax. Ouch!
KT had 474,000 subscribers as of the end of June according to The Korea Times, so 948 of them either have an incredible addiction to pornography, or they like pirating uncompressed Blu-ray images. This author’s personal piracy record for 1 month is a little over 850 GB. Thank you, Giganews.
To further demonstrate how advanced South Korea’s wireless industry is, KT just filed a second plea to the Korea Communications Commission (KCC) to be allowed to shut off their 2G network. Their first plea was rejected because they still had 480,000 subscribers using 2G at the time. Today that number is now 390,000, but without any guidance as to what figure the government is looking for, they can’t be sure whether or not they’ll gain approval. An unnamed KT official says that the company thinks it’s probably under 100,000, which is why they’re offering insane promotions to get the luddites off the grossly outdated network.