Government to amend telecoms legislation to foster competition

25 Oct 2007

The government of Japan, acting through the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications (MIC), has published a new competition promotion programme for 2010 designed to ‘revitalise’ the country’s communications industry. According to Telecompaper, citing a report from the Nikkei daily, the primary focus of the project is to make it easier for fixed and mobile virtual network operators to enter the market. It is understood the MIC plans to draft guidelines for the incumbent mobile operators by March 2008 to ensure they will not hinder these plans. The strategy is expected to include requirements for operators to disclose their charging methodology and usage rules for any companies wishing to access their networks. The communications ministry further hopes to break the operators’ monopoly on customer billing and authentication services for mobile payments, the paper said. Japan also plans to encourage credit card firms and other financial services providers to provide similar services, with the government stating a case for a change to accounting rules which would mean mobile operators can no longer tack sales incentives onto mobile connection fees.