We noted an interesting post on a local mobile developer’s site, which points out out how much money their flat-rate data plan saved the company in January. According to the scanned statement of the DoCoMo bill; “By using the pakehoudai option [a JPY 3,900 service plan option for unlimited usage of i-mode data traffic] you saved 1.67 million JPY this month.” They calculated the data packets used total just over 1GB (that’s hardcore — Eds) which would have cost approx. 10,000 Euro under the regular per packet billing model. Yikes!
Looking at Chikara-san’s DoCoMo bill this morning made all our jaws drop in perfect synch.
Doing a quick calculation, we established that he had used a total 1.07 GB of i-mode data packets in January… which only cost him the equivalent of $32. Now, 1.07 GB of i-mode data packets equals VERY heavy usage, but it goes to show that flat rate data plans definitely make sense. It’s for a good reason that – even in Japan – the mobile internet in general, and mobile content downloads specifically, only really took off after au KDDI pioneered the concept of flat rate data plans, followed soon after by DoCoMo and the then-still-Vodafone SoftBank Mobile: freeing the user from any concerns whether he may have to file for personal bankruptcy because he looked up the train schedule on his handset one too many times is key to adoption. Non-Japanese operators (with a few notable exceptions, yes I know), please take note.