Business

Japanese government to make it easier for budget smartphone providers to reduce call charges

JIJI

The government will make it easier for budget smartphone providers to cut calling charges, based on a report released by a panel of experts Friday.

In the report, the panel, set up by the communications ministry, asks the government to draw up guidelines to reduce the fees that low-cost providers pay to mobile carriers.

Budget providers lease networks from carriers instead of setting up their own. Fees they pay for data communications have fallen gradually on lower maintenance costs, but fees for phone calls remain high.

The government will set the guidelines early next year at the earliest to curb phone call costs.

If the costs drop, budget providers will find it easier to lower their calling charges to subscribers and provide unlimited flat-rate services.

Currently, budget providers pay carriers ¥14 per 30 seconds in phone call fees.