• Companies

SoftBank to Cut monthly 5G Service Fees by ¥1,900

The Yomiuri Shimbun

Mobile phone operator SoftBank Corp. announced on Tuesday that it will reduce monthly fees for 5G services, which allow high-speed, large-volume data use, by ¥1,900 to ¥6,580 a month starting in March. Customers’ monthly data usage, which was previously set at 50 gigabytes with unlimited use of some video services, will be changed to unlimited.

The Cabinet of Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga has been pushing for a full-fledged price war among mobile phone service providers.

SoftBank plans to lower the price of its 4G large-volume plans by ¥900. The move is aimed at encouraging consumers to switch to 5G phones by lowering the fees more for 5G plans.

NTT Docomo Inc. announced on Dec. 18 that its unlimited data plan for 5G will cost ¥6,650 per month, meaning that SoftBank’s plan will be ¥70 cheaper.

SoftBank also officially announced that it will start a new service in March called SoftBank on Line that limits contract procedures to the internet. Under this scheme, a plan with 20 GB of monthly data usage will cost ¥2,980 per month, and there will be no extra charges for 4G or 5G devices. Any domestic calls less than five minutes will be free.

In creating the new service, Softbank will merge with its subsidiary Line Mobile, in which it currently holds a 60% stake, and will make it a direct brand.

The internet-only contract, monthly fee and monthly data capacity are all the same as the Ahamo plan announced by Docomo on Dec. 3. SoftBank has made a strong showing against Docomo.

SoftBank also announced that it will launch a 5G service in February under its low-priced Y!mobile brand.

With SoftBank’s latest announcement, two of the three major mobile phone companies have unveiled price cuts on their flagship brands, as requested by the government.

KDDI Corp. also plans to announce measures in January to counter the price reductions.