• Jiji


Mobile carriers KDDI Corp. and SoftBank Corp. said Wednesday they will launch new low-cost mobile service plans with 20 gigabytes of data per month.

KDDI will launch a ¥3,980 plan around February under its UQ mobile low-cost service. With an additional ¥500, subscribers will be able to make calls of up to one hour per month.

SoftBank plans to start offering a plan costing ¥4,480 per month with free domestic calls of up to 10 minutes in late December under its Y!mobile service.

The two companies’ moves come amid strong calls from the administration of Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga to lower mobile rates.

Rival NTT Docomo Inc. is also considering establishing a new brand that will offer low-cost plans.

With 20GB of data, a subscriber may be able to watch medium-definition videos online for about 80 to 90 hours.

SoftBank also said that next spring it will stop collecting fees from customers applying in-store or online to change carriers while retaining their numbers.

At present, major carriers charge customers ¥3,000 for the mobile number portability service.

Starting in fiscal 2021, which begins in April, the communications ministry plans to ban carriers from collecting fees from customers applying for the service online, while allowing them to collect up to ¥1,000 from customers applying in-store.

In late September, Suga instructed communications minister Ryota Takeda to act to reduce mobile costs. Takeda has since asked the three major carriers to cooperate in reducing financial burdens on households.

A 20GB plan is the costliest in Tokyo among six major cities across the world, according to a survey by the ministry.

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