Firms announce smartphone plans below Y5,000 a month

posted on February 4, 2016

Three major mobile phone providers will introduce low-priced monthly smartphone plans for less than ¥5,000 this spring, according to the new price plans that had been announced by the companies by Monday.

KDDI Corp., which operates the "au" service, and SoftBank Corp. will launch new monthly plans priced at ¥4,900, while NTT Docomo Inc. will introduce a plan in which the monthly fee for each family member is ¥4,500 if three family members subscribe to the plan. The prices do not include tax.

However, these new plans cover light users of data communications, so it will be a challenge for these companies to offer plans that benefit a wider range of users.

In September last year, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe instructed Internal Affairs and Communications Minister Sanae Takaichi to discuss measures to lower smartphone fees because they had become a heavy burden on household finances.

An expert panel of the Internal Affairs and Communications Ministry suggested a monthly price plan of "¥5,000 or less" as a reference in its report compiled in December last year. In response, mobile phone providers created price plans at ¥5,000 or lower.

KDDI announced Monday it would create a fixed-rate plan with a one-gigabyte monthly data package in March. Under the plan, users can view online video for nine minutes per day. Combined with another plan to allow users to make unlimited domestic voice calls shorter than five minutes, the monthly fee is ¥4,900.

SoftBank will introduce a similar plan as early as April.

source by the-japan-news
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