Japan Starts Discussions on Mobile Phone Rate Cuts

Politics Economy

Tokyo, Aug. 23 (Jiji Press)--Japan's Internal Affairs and Communications Ministry asked Thursday a council in charge to start discussing mobile phone rate cuts.

Due to complaints about mobile phone rates higher than those in Europe and the United States and the large profits of major mobile carriers such as NTT Docomo Inc. <9437>, the information and communications council may advise substantial rate cuts, people familiar with the matter said. The result of its discussions is expected in summer 2019 at the earliest.

"I hope for discussions without prejudging the course of reforms," said communications minister Seiko Noda during a council meeting the same day.

With mobile phones becoming indispensable for daily life and the use of the Internet of Things expanding, data traffic is expected to increase further. Unless mobile phone rates are brought down from the current high levels, users' financial burdens will become so heavy that they will have to reduce spending for other purposes.

According to a survey by the ministry, household spending in Japan last year fell 3.5 pct from 2010 to 2,921,476 yen on average, but expenditures on mobile communications surged 25.4 pct to 100,250 yen.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press