NTT Docomo, the largest mobile player in Japan, plans to reduce mobile prices by introducing a wider variety of plans which charge separately for handsets and connectivity, Nikkei Asian Review reported.
Number two and three players KDDI and SoftBank are expected to follow suit, the news agency said. The market will face increased competition as Rakuten is scheduled to start mobile operations in October 2019.
Docomo is looking to simplify its mobile tariffs as early as April 2019 (the beginning of its fiscal year) by no longer bundling the cost of smartphones with wireless fees, something it started doing in June 2017, Nikkei Asian Review reported.
In August, Japan’s government pushed the country’s three major mobile operators to reduce prices by ending handset subsidies, calling for the companies to charge separately for phones and connectivity. A senior telecoms ministry representative said at the time it believes bundling makes it hard for consumers to assess the price of devices and services.
The government first called for price reductions in 2015, with a ban on handset subsidies mooted.
In response, Docomo introduced a number of discount plans which impacted revenue growth.
In fiscal Q1 (calendar Q2) mobile revenue was flat at JPY718 billion ($6.4 billion), despite aggregate ARPU increasing 3.9 per cent year-on-year to JPY4,800 per month.
Earlier in the year the company forecast service revenue to be flat for fiscal 2018.Subscribe to our daily newsletter Back