Japan Begins Talks to Introduce Emergency Roaming

Society Technology

Tokyo, Sept. 28 (Jiji Press)--Japan’s communications ministry Wednesday started discussions to introduce emergency roaming across networks of mobile phone carriers, to be available in the event of natural disasters and communications network failures.

Experts and officials at four carriers including NTT Docomo Inc. participated in the first meeting of a study group set up by the ministry. The group is set to outline a basic policy by year-end.

“Mobile phone services are key social infrastructure,” communications minister Minoru Terada stressed at the meeting. “Building a system enabling continuous use of them in emergencies is an important task.”

KDDI Corp.'s <9433> major network failure in July left some subscribers unable to make emergency calls for long periods. This led to calls for enabling emergency roaming across carriers as a means to secure stable mobile communications in times of emergency.

The study group will discuss whether to limit such roaming services to emergency calls or open them up for general voice calls and data communications. Other issues will include requirements and rules for such services.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press