Mobile Number Portability Price War
Softbank announced it will offer new price plans – lower than DoCoMo and KDDI by at least 200 yen – on the eve of Japan’s Mobile Number Portability launch. Softbank introduced 18 new subscription plans including three packages which allow subscribers to call and message for free at certain times of the day. A recent survey by the Nikkei reported that up to 25 percent of SoftBank customers may switch carriers under the new MNP rule while 19 percent of DoCoMo’s and only 8 percent of KDDI’s users said they may change carriers after number portability.
“We want to reset the mobile phone market” in Japan, Chief Executive Officer Masayoshi Son told reporters in Tokyo today. If DoCoMo or KDDI reduce their prices, “we need to make further price cuts.” To offset the costs of the discounts, Softbank may need to increase penalties for users who cancel their subscriptions early.
KDDI, which has said it doesn’t intend to increase handset subsidies as competition heats up, paid about 37,000 per handset in the fiscal second-quarter ended 30 September. DoCoMo hasn’t disclosed how much it pays, while Softbank said it provided a 44,400-yen-per-handset subsidy in the first quarter.
More via Bloomberg.