Mobile carrier NTT Docomo Inc. plans to raise handset prices by around ¥10,000 to ¥20,000 so it can provide discounts to customers who use less data, keeping in line with the government’s effort to reduce the burden of mobile phone bills on households, sources close to the matter said Saturday.
Prime Minister Shinzo Abe told officials to look into ways to cut mobile phone fees as household spending in other areas has slowed since the consumption tax hike in 2014, which will be followed by another increase next year.
NTT Docomo will raise prices by revising discounts for customers switching from rival carriers as well as the funds it gives to stores to provide customer incentives.
A government panel last month compiled a report urging carriers to review their price plans for those who use less data in order to cut their monthly fees to below ¥5,000.
The price plans currently offered by the three major carriers have been widely seen as being designed for frequent Internet users and too expensive for those who rarely use such services.
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