Japan’s government plans to put pressure on the country’s three major mobile operators to reduce mobile tariffs and give customers a wider variety of data plans, the Yomiuri Shimbun reported.
The Internal Affairs and Communications Ministry is looking to prohibit handset subsidies and ask operators to use the money they save to reduce charges.
Under the new plan, the ministry aim to establish guidelines, based on the Telecommunications Business Law, by February and urge operators to start reducing tariffs in the spring.
Average data usage is 1.9GB a month, yet the data plans offered by all three operators – NTT Docomo, KDDI and SoftBank – start at 2GB, which doesn’t cater to low-data users. Minister Sanae Takaichi said it would be appropriate for users to have the choice of 1GB of data, Japan News reported.
Tokyo had the fourth highest mobile data rates out of seven major cities around the world in 2014, according to research by the ministry.
In July the ministry asked the operators to review the terms of their two-year contracts, which automatically are renewed with high termination fees. And in May operators were required to unlock SIM cards on handsets that customers keep for more than six months.
The operators have insisted that they are meeting consumer needs by introducing affordable new plans, Japan News said.