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Telecom story updated. (Upfront).

We ran a story in our November issue explaining why calling from a fixed line to a mobile phone, or keitai, is so much more expensive than keitai-to-keitai calls. Some fixed-line carriers argue that this is a conspiracy among mobile carriers to keep charges high.

Here is the latest development: Heisei Denden, a fixed-line phone carrier, has requested Japan's telecom ministry to make mobile phone carriers -- NTT Docomo, KDDI and Japan Telecom -- give the company a chance to patch through fixed-line-to-mobile calls. After being ignored by the mobile carriers, the company asked the ministry to mediate.

Last November the telecom ministry took Heisei Denden's side, by saying that it's more appropriate for the company, instead of mobile carriers, to set the prices for these calls.

Meanwhile, Heisei Denden had already launched the lowest priced fixed-line-to-keitai services (3 minutes for [yen]60) in Tokyo in early November. This was done without waiting for the ministry's mediation, enabling the company to avoid the interconnection issue by using overseas carriers instead.
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Publication:Japan Inc.
Date:Jan 1, 2003
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