Tokyo-headquartered messaging app provider LINE Corp has announced the upcoming launch of a low-cost smartphone MVNO service in Japan, with prices starting from JPY500 (USD4.8) per month. Available from October, the company says its new service will initially be open ‘to a limited number of subscribers’, and will use the infrastructure of host network operator NTT DOCOMO. Alongside the entry-level option, LINE Corp is foregrounding multiple subscriptions costing up to JPY3,220 a month (dependent on data usage), it says, enabling users to have unlimited access to its own app alongside Twitter and Facebook, for example. ‘I believe we have a competitive edge … as we can offer the best prices depending on how users use smartphones as an MVNO,’ LINE Corp chief strategy and Marketing Officer Jun Masuda commented. According to Masuda, Japan still offers room for growth in a mobile segment where smartphone penetration stood at 57% in 2015.