Japan Eyes Fee System for 5G Networks

Politics

Tokyo, Jan. 21 (Jiji Press)--Japan's communications ministry is considering introducing a system to charge internet users a fee so that fiber-optic infrastructure for fifth-generation, or 5G, wireless networks can be constructed and maintained across the country, informed sources said Tuesday.

Under the plan, major mobile carriers and other companies providing internet services by using fiber-optic lines are expected to collect a small monthly fee from its users.

With the collected funds, the ministry is considering providing subsidies to businesses managing fiber-optic lines in unprofitable areas, such as mountain areas and remote islands, the sources said.

The ministry plans to launch a panel of experts in spring this year at the earliest to start related discussions, hoping to introduce the envisaged fee system in the mid-2020s.

Currently, Nippon Telegraph and Telephone East Corp. and NTT West Corp. collect a monthly fee of 2 yen from mobile and fixed-line phone users to maintain their fixed-line networks across Japan. Their networks are designated as one of universal services, which operators are obliged to offer uniformly across the nation.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press