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Docomo to lower mobile phone fees by up to 40% from June

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This report is different from the report I saw on NHK last night. The head of DOCOMO said they were going to divide the cost of the phone from the monthly usage charges. But that it was still going to be Y1980 for 1 G of data, and Y5980 for 5G of data. According to this, the Y5980 will be for 20G. If that is true, then it is better, but still pretty expensive. Also on the report last night, they said the average cost per month for smart phone was Y3323 in Tokyo. I would like to find anybody with a average monthly bill that cheap.

What bothered me so much was last year when my two year contract ended and my phone was paid off, I went to the AU shop to sign a new contract, expecting the monthly charge to decrease, as the cost of the phone would be gone. But no sir, the charge would have increased a little for some strange reason. Not sure what will happen when this new pricing system goes into effect.

14 ( +14 / -0 )

Yeah,

The 3 have been getting away with murder regarding their price plans.

I had the same experience as MarkX about expecting my monthly bill to decrease after I fulfilled the 2-year contract only to see the bill rise.....weird.

11 ( +11 / -0 )

In April last year, the government granted approval to e-commerce giant Rakuten Inc to enter the business from October this year, a move expected to spur greater competition.

I switched to Rakuten Mobile last year so I don't think this quote is accurate. It's already in the mix and has spurred competition.

I only pay a bit over 2,000 yen a month for the slightly lower volume data plan (which is much more than enough). Glad I got out of the clutches of the long-clawed Docomo.

7 ( +7 / -0 )

10 years too late.... You can get 60GB overseas for the price of 20 from NTT according to this article.

8 ( +8 / -0 )

I hope the others follow, but as I’m already paying about ¥5500 for unlimited, it looks like I will continue to get screwed. It’s a great idea for the carriers to lower the price of their plans that doesn’t allow enough data to use the phone in place of a computer (email, SNS, web, YouTube, calls) so that when people go over they get gouged on the over limit usage.

Lets see see if it makes a difference, shall we?

4 ( +4 / -0 )

MNVO like mineo, uqmobile, iijmobile is the way to go.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

MarkX/Spitfire, seems you both misunderstood their complicated pricing structures, or didnt read the contract properly when you signed up.

Mobile phone contracts here are (mostly) a fixed service charge, around 6-7000 yen per month, which includes your basic access fee, unlimited calls and 7gb of data. Then you have the handset fee which is 3-4000 per month on top of that basic access fee. Thats because you buy the phone on a payment plan, and pay it off in 24 monthly installments.

The confusing part for most people is that then the provider gives you a discount on the fixed service charge, for 24 months, which is usually the same amount as the handset repayment fee. So you only end up paying 6-7000 a month instead of 9-10,000. Then at the end of your 2 years, the discount disappears, and so does your phone payments. Hence no change or possibly even increased prices at the end of your contract. What you are supposed to do then is go back to the shop and renew your contract with a new phone, restarting the handset payments, and subsequently also the fixed price subsidies.

Its all a big ripoff though. Even with the planned 6000yen price plans. the 1980 plan with 1gb will be good for old people and light users, but MVNOs are still your best option for phone service here.

8 ( +8 / -0 )

The introduction of the new service charges will reduce the company's income by as much as 400 billion yen per year, Yoshizawa said.

I know these top 3 companies are making hand over fist especially Docomo.

Just in the past 10 years in my town, Docomo has moved three of their stores from small buildings/offices on the old road with low rents to three different brand new big buildings along the main road and other prime real estate spots.

AU has also built a brand new gleaming two story building in one of the choicest spots in town. They used to have a small quaint office but not it feels like an airport terminal.

They're making a lot of profit.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

They're all sharks... with the 5G coming soon... i'm curious what kind of plan they're going to offer... I paid 9950 yens at au right.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

They purposely make the invoicing so complicated in order to confuse people and stop them complaining. I challenged SoftBank about the ridiculous price I was paying for a iPhone, iPad and SoftBank Air home WiFi. They shuffled my my account which resulted in a 30% reduction and unlimited downloads and streaming on my home WiFi. They just rip people off who are not savvy enough to rattle their cage and all the telcos do it!

7 ( +7 / -0 )

With MNP firmly established best way to keep your bills low is to switch to a new low cost provider at the end of each 2 year period - shuffle between Ymobile , UQ, and Rakuten

( at the moment they all use the big 3 networks so there is no reason to stay with the majors and their rip off contracts - Rakuten which rides in NTT and AU networks atm will be operating its own from October - which is what the last sentence in the article alludes to. )

4 ( +4 / -0 )

@Speed

I switched to Rakuten Mobile last year so I don't think this quote is accurate. It's already in the mix and has spurred competition.

The quote is correct, up until October, Rakuten is an MVNO (Mobile virtual network operator) which means they piggy back off of Docomo/Au (depending on what sim you get) to provide their service. It means and upgrades to infrastructure are offered by Docomo and Au and various other things that aren't important.

The point is, as of October, Rakuten will be a full blown MNO which means they can bid for wireless spectrum, create cell infrastructure for themselves and generally be more free with their pricing structures. (Not to mention not have to pay to Docomo or Au)

Out of the MVNO market, the biggest ones would be Rakuten, Mineo, maybe Biglobe. UQ is actually just a low-cost brand so they aren't actually an MVNO.

Coming from Canada (which has by far the highest cost for mobile services in the developed world for some reason) I find the prices in Japan to be relatively cheap XD But getting them even cheaper would be great.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

They're all sharks...

Yup. By the way, does anyone know why no foreign competitor has entered the japanese market? It seems that with the big 3 ripping everyone off, foreign competitors should find quite a lucrative market...

2 ( +2 / -0 )

@Aly Rustom. Vodafone was here sometime ago but could not compete. Infact, they failed to understand the market and so they eventually sold it to Softbank.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

The other thing that sucks is that they are claiming if you keep your phone longer your charges will be cheaper. But as we know, Apple is slowing down older phones and of course the batteries die so much faster than before. Just another way they screw over the customer.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

I save a bloody fortune by not owning one of these substitute brains. And I can't say my life has been diminished in any way that really counts.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

If you want a new phone every year or so, you can use the following method and switch the carriers regularly. You have to put in some effort then you can get a reasonable deal from Big ones. Like my current deal, I pay around 6000 for 20GB data and 5 minutes call free, I know this is little bit expensive but I got a Galaxy S9+ for free. For this I had to roam around 2-3 AU stores checking what they offered and telling the next store what the previous one offered and if they were willing to better that.

If you do not want new phones every year or so, you can use Rakuten mobile. It has better service than most. For heavy data user(50+GB per month) like me, get a pocket wifi. If this is done, you can get a Rakuten sim and pocket wifi for around 6700 per month or low. I am planning to switch to rakuten in a few months time.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Domo Docomo

0 ( +0 / -0 )

"NTT Docomo will introduce two basic service charge plans with a monthly fee of 5,980 yen for an unlimited data service and 1,980 yen for those who need less volume of data."

LOL, wut?! I pay 1,500!!!

Check out all the low cost carriers. UQ Mobile, Y-mobile. Rakuten mobile. Their prices start at 1500 a month and that more than enough for me.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Yes we have been getting fleeced for decades & not just for phones!

Hey J-Govt how about some bloody consumer PROTECTION LAWS with some damned TEETH.

I am sick & tired of Japan Inc being able to freely STEAL from the masses in this country, needs to bloody END!!

7 ( +7 / -0 )

My US bill versus my Japanese bill.

USA: Unlimited 4G LTE, calling, messaging, unlimited 3G or 4G data roaming depending on the country the speed varies. $0.20 per minute calls to countries not covered by unlimited international calling. Unlimited WiFi calling when roaming. Cost: $110 after taxes per month. We have 3 phones on my family plan.

Japan: 6Gb of 4G, pay for text messaging. 1 min free for all calls. Pay for everything else. Cost: ¥6,328 per month. 2 phones on my plan. One of the lines uses 2Gb.

Will they really reduce the cost or just move the fees to somewhere else? New surcharges.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Their prices start at 1500 a month and that more than enough for me.

Agreed. I switched a year or so ago from Softbank. Despite the contract cancellation fees, new sim-free handset and the MNP charge I was saving thousands a month. 1800 yen a month with Iijmio for 7gb data. I lost my MMS mail address, but who uses them these days? And I'm quite liking having less data to use, stops me fiddling with my phone every minute.

Until a mass exodus from the big three happens they'll just keep making token efforts to reduce customers bills by a few yen here and there.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

I get 20GB if data for ¥2,680/month, and unlimited home Internet for ¥5,960 a month. Both from DoCoMo. Pretty happy compared to the competition.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

@Aly Rustom. Vodafone was here sometime ago but could not compete. Infact, they failed to understand the market and so they eventually sold it to Softbank.

Thanks for the answer- I know that, I just didn't know why they couldn't compete. Then again, it was before the smartphone revolution..

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Vodafone didn't understand how the Japanese mobile market worked.

https://www.wweek.com/portland/article-18363-japan-why-did-vodafone-fail-in-japan.html

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Last Dec bought my first mobile phone in more than 10 years. Moved to a new area, and needed one. iPhone Xr from AU. Plan ¥1,980, unlimited 5 min calls and IGB DATA with extra DATA ¥1,000/GB, free calls to family members, my wife.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

You realize how absurd and tricky japanese mobile companies are when you travel around on business.

Here in Malaysia I pay 30 Ringgits (less than 1000 yen) to have unlimited data + some 90min. calls per month using one of the major mobile companies, and the service is even more reliable than in Japan.

I feel "rich" simply by watching Netflix or playing heavy data consuming online games while on the subway, unthinkable while in Japan, as you need a pocket wi-fi for these and they simply don't work underground.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

What bothered me so much was last year when my two year contract ended and my phone was paid off, I went to the AU shop to sign a new contract, expecting the monthly charge to decrease, as the cost of the phone would be gone. But no sir, the charge would have increased a little for some strange reason. Not sure what will happen when this new pricing system goes into effect.

This is why is quit softbank. Such a scam. They just try to lure you into a new contract having to pay for the phone again. Glad im now simfree, screw the big 3.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

French mobile company: 100G per month for 2500 yen (600 yen per month for the first 6 month).

And they still make money...

5 ( +5 / -0 )

I recently quit softbank, and they charged my 12,000 yen each (wife and myself) to leave. Total scam. I don't see how you can sign a 2-year contract, complete the two years, and still have to pay a cancellation fee.

I will never go to that scamming organization again. If Softbank goes under, I'll cheer.

7 ( +7 / -0 )

If Softbank goes under, I'll cheer.

I'll be with you. When I got a phone from them a few years ago they automatically signed me up to some movie news service. It was free for a month or two but if you didn't cancel then it was 500 yen a month. Took me over a year to notice on my bill amongst all the numbers. I did eventually get a refund, but it was typical of the sly ways they increase their margins.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

@Strangerland , MarkX - same here, decided to pay off in cash my iPhone bought at Softbank just to find out my bill hasn't been decreased at all. When I realize, I was paying almost 9000 for Softbank and 4000 for UQ Wimax pocket wi-fi, which I used 90% of the time (just used Softbank when riding the subway).

Now paying 30 ringgits (1000 yen/mo) for Unlimited data in Malaysia and 10 (300 yens/day) for Unlimited data Roaming while in other South East countries I don't even think about the idea of going back to Softbank when back to Japan in a few days.

If taking countless mobile fee comparison sites into consideration I think UQ mobile should do the trick.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Everyone needs to check their monthly bill for those extra charges from AU/Docomo/Softbank for items like video pass @¥1,000/month. For years we received the monthly printed bill so checked all items. Even getting the video pass cancelled took hours on the phone and about 3 months before it was ended. Check what you signed up for and only pay for those.

Now it's more difficult to check the monthly online account for item by item.

Using a carrier outside of the main three usually means some kind of restrictions or less service. Good for some bad for others.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Even getting the video pass cancelled took hours on the phone and about 3 months before it was ended.

I believe that making it difficult to cancel is part of the Softbank training manual. They made it a run-around to cancel our phones. Previously when trying to cancel our home internet service, I also had to spend hours on the phone with them.

Disgusting company.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

I believe that making it difficult to cancel is part of the Softbank training manual.

Sorry our provider is AU but more and more try to add on hoping the customer will never cancel or question. Like we had to have a little GPS device which was free but after one year we would be charged ¥500/month unless we cancelled.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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