Japan’s Internal Affairs and Communications Ministry is considering a plan to allow mobile telephone subscribers to choose lower communications charges in return for paying more for handsets, ministry officials said Friday. At present, mobile phone carriers such as NTT DoCoMo Inc. sell handsets at steep discounts and cover the costs by adding charges to monthly communications rates, creating an unfair cost disadvantage for subscribers who use the same handsets for a long time. The study group is expected to work out a report on the pricing options in July.
To help rectify the unfairness, a ministry study group is looking at an alternative pricing structure that would give subscribers the options of paying higher handset prices but lower monthly communications rates or buying handset at lower prices in exchange for higher monthly rates, the officials said. Based on the report, the ministry is seen to revise relevant ordinances and guidelines to implement the change. Continue>>