Coming from a background as an OTT player, Japan’s Line launched an MVNO offering low cost data plans and unlimited usage for some of its services.
Branded Line Mobile, the messaging firm is offering low cost smartphone and SIM card packages, reported The Japan Times, with monthly plans priced between JPY500 ($5) and JPY3,220, depending on data usage. The price does not include smartphone price.
The company said Line Mobile subscribers will have unlimited usage of some services including messaging, sending photos and videos, as well as making calls on the Line app.
Some of the plans also include unlimited use of Facebook and Twitter.
Line, which completed a $1.3 billion IPO in Tokyo and New York in July, said it hoped the move into mobile services would help increase smartphone penetration in Japan. Half of the country’s mobile users are not yet using smartphones.
“I believe we have a competitive edge… as we can offer the best prices depending on how users use smartphones as an MVNO,” said Jun Masuda, Line’s chief strategy and marketing officer at a news conference.
Line began initial sales of 20,000 SIM cards for the service, with a full scale launch planned for 1 October. It will also offer eight SIM free Android smartphone and tablet models.
It is renting network capacity from NTT Docomo, Japan’s largest operator, to run the service.