Panel calls for DoCoMo to open network to Japan Communications

23 Nov 2007

A Japanese resolution panel yesterday recommended that the government should order the country’s largest mobile operator by subscribers, NTT DoCoMo, to open its network to competitor Japan Communications. According to MarketWatch citing a report in Nikkei News’s Friday edition, the decision could unlock a market currently dominated by three incumbent cellular operators – DoCoMo, KDDI and Softbank Mobile. The panel’s ruling in essence backs smaller rivals’ calls for improved network access by recommending that DoCoMo publish the terms and conditions for its interconnection service and lease circuits on a more transparent system. The panel is also understood to have recommended that DoCoMo lease bandwidth on a fixed-fee system. It is believed to have rejected DoCoMo’s arguments regarding the setting of prices charged by Japan Communication’s services, deeming such a move would only hamper fair competition. Japan’s communications minister is expected to rule on the panel’s recommendations next Tuesday.