TOKYO – NTT Docomo Inc. said Monday it will lower its new 20-gigabyte monthly mobile plan to 2,700 yen ($25), offering the price cut amid intensifying competition in Japan’s telecom industry spurred by government pressure.
The price, the cheapest among similar plans offered by the three major Japanese wireless carriers, compares with NTT Docomo’s initial tariff of 2,980 yen announced in December for the new service, which will be launched this month.
Japan’s leading wireless carrier said it will start offering the discounted plan named “ahamo,” which includes unlimited calls up to five minutes in addition to data usage, on March 26 through online contracts.
NTT Docomo’s announcement came after its rival KDDI Corp., the operator of the “au” brand, said in January it will offer the same data volume usage plan for 2,480 yen, while charging another 500 yen per month for free voice calls up to five minutes.
Another rival SoftBank Corp. also said last month it will follow KDDI, offering the 20-gigabyte monthly data plan for 2,480 yen from the middle of March.
Japanese e-commerce giant Rakuten Inc. has said its mobile phone unit, a new market entrant that rolled out its full-fledged wireless servicers last year, will offer a monthly 20-gigabyte data plan for 1,980 yen from April as part of its efforts to boost the number of its subscribers.
Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga, who took office in September, has repeatedly demanded that mobile phone service operators slash their fees, saying they are higher than those in other countries and wireless carriers are posting bigger profit margins than other infrastructure providers such as utilities.