Japan to Ban Online Fees for Mobile Carrier Change

Politics

Tokyo, Aug. 27 (Jiji Press)--Japan's communications ministry on Thursday unveiled a plan to ban mobile phone carriers from collecting fees from customers applying online to change carriers using the mobile portability system.

The move is aimed at promoting price competition among carriers to cause falls in mobile phone fees.

The ministry plans to overhaul by year-end the guidelines on the number portability system, which allows mobile phone users to switch to another carrier without changing their phone numbers. A draft of revised guidelines was presented to a meeting of an expert panel on the day.

Currently, the country's three major carriers--NTT Docomo Inc. <9437>, SoftBank Corp. <9434> and KDDI Corp. <9433>--and budget smartphone companies collect a fee of 3,000 yen for a carrier change using the portability system.

Believing that there are no clear grounds for setting the fee at the level, the ministry concluded that the fee should be abolished for customers changing carriers through online procedures

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press