Docomo will slash mobile rates by up to 40%
Nikkei -- Nov 01
Japan's top wireless carrier, NTT Docomo, will lower its service charge by 20% to 40% while giving subscribers more freedom on phones, including letting them bring unlocked and secondhand devices to its network.

The new pricing scheme will take effect sometime in the April-June quarter, the company said Wednesday.

Japan's mobile carriers face mounting pressure from the government to lower rates, which are significantly higher than in other advanced economies. Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga said in August that mobile rates in Japan could be lowered by as much as 40%.

With e-commerce giant Rakuten set to enter the mobile service market as Japan's fourth major player next fall, Docomo CEO Kazuhiro Yoshizawa told reporters: "We will boost our competitiveness ahead of the change in the market landscape."

Docomo generally bundles service fees with discounted device payments. Many consumers have complained that the details of these schemes are hard to understand, so the company has decided to offer new mobile plans with low service fees but without any discounts on the devices themselves. It is considering completely separating the two charges in the future.

While Docomo already does offer similar plans, they are currently limited to a handful of models. The new plans are expected to give customers more freedom to choose the handsets they want, including used devices bought from third parties.

ドコモが最大で4割程度、値下げします。 NTTドコモ・吉澤和弘社長:「2割から4割程度、ご利用料金を低廉化させたい。
News sources: Nikkei, ANNnewsCH
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