Happy New Year greetings from Masayoshi Son and friends at the former Vodafone Japan – now SoftBank Mobile – came in the form of this press release [.pdf in Japanese] announcing they will offer a limited flat-rate voice package starting mid-January. The 980jpy per month deal allows unlimited voice calling and mobile mail, effective between SoftBank 3G customers, from 1 a.m and 9 p.m. Son also apparently promised if competitors decide to follow his lead, offering a lower rate, within 24 hours he will undercut their prices.
According to this article on BusinessWeek:
Although the announcement came after markets closed for the day in Tokyo, word of an impending pricing plan appeared to have buoyed Softbank’s shares by 2.1% in Tokyo. (The Nikkei 225 Stock Average fell 1.5% on the day.) But the day’s gains were cold comfort for investors who have watched the stock drop 45% since last January.
Shinkin Asset Management analyst Naoki Fujiwara chalked up the day’s gains to technical buying, rather than euphoria over Softbank’s latest announcement. “After bailing out of steel stocks at the end of the year, investors were looking for somewhere else to put their money,” says Fujiwara.