Telecommunications Bureau

Promoting competition in the telecommunications business through a wider dissemination of broadband

The MIC enables all households to use broadband services by around 2015. Based on the "ICT Policy Taskforce for the Global Age" summarized in December 2010, the MIC drafted "Basic Policy" summarizing specific measures to fulfill its targets and a "Process Chart" organizing a specific schedule for necessary efforts.
Based on these developments, the Telecommunication Bureau is making specific efforts to meet its targets.

Efforts toward eliminating the digital divide

Optical fiber subscribers totaled about 17.8 million (as of the end of March 2010), accounting for about 30% of all network users. Japan lags behind other advanced nations in terms of that percentage and in its utilization. The MIC thus decided to employ a nationwide ultra-high-speed broadband network (optical broadband), build the best model that increases inhabitant convenience in local public services and greatly reduces administrative costs by eliminating waste, draft functional optical broadband requirements for nationwide presentation, consider cost reduction in development and operation based on the latest technical trends, and promote the use thereof.
Broadband and mobile telephony enhance the living standards of community inhabitants and help reactivate regional industry. The MIC therefore regards eliminating the digital divide as an extremely important policy challenge, and has thus far been working actively to combat it. As a result, the population in regions not receptive to mobile telephony networks declined to 100,000 (as of the end of March 2010). This, together with other developments, reflects the steady progress being made in Japan's information and telecommunications infrastructure.

Safe and reliable use of the Internet

Various forms of illegal and harmful information on the Internet have become a major social problem, including the sexual damage to children posed by dating websites, harassment on the Internet, murder threats on bulletin boards, child pornography on the Internet, and the distribution of information that may infringe on intellectual property rights. Efforts are being made by the public and private sectors to join forces in making a secure and safe Internet society a reality, including voluntary support by private operators in terms of deletion and notification, promoting the introduction of filtering service, and improved literacy. Moreover, in January 2009, a program for promoting the "building of a secure Internet" was drafted as part of a comprehensive policy package for measures against illegal and harmful information, and efforts are under way to make that goal a reality.

Concerning the program for promoting the "building of a secure Internet"

Promoting the use of radio waves

Radio waves are used in various fields ranging from mobile telephony, TV and other familiar applications to highly public radio communications involving the police, fire defense, rescue, aircraft, vessels at sea and disaster prevention, and extend to physical distribution control, food safety, medical treatment, transport, home networking, robots, and various other fields. Radio waves are thus very important in building a social infrastructure.
The MIC is promoting research and development of new radio systems including 3.9th generation mobile telephony and fourth-generation mobile communication systems which realize more advanced mobile services, intelligent transport systems (ITS) that support safe driving and broadband systems for public services which enable video communications with high-mobility in case of a disaster, wireless broadband in a house that enables wireless connections among all information appliance in a house.
The MIC is also expected to address such issues as local regeneration by effectively using radio wave as a means of disseminating information for local communities. Therefore, to realize the effective use of radio waves linked to increased citizen convenience, the MIC is considering new directions of effective radio wave, including the use of white space* that will create new available radio waves.
The MIC is also actively working to choose specific radio wave use systems in which Japan is ahead and make those systems an international standard in an attempt to step up the international competitiveness of the wireless industry, while aiming to deploy the systems in markets abroad with forces joined with the industrial community. More specifically, the MIC is assisting relevant Japanese corporations to become internationally competitive by such means as holding seminars abroad with the public and private sectors joining forces, conducting public relations on the technology of various systems, and engaging in other activities regarding third-generation mobile telephone terminals (including applications linked with mobile telephony), disaster prevention radio systems, ITS, BWA (WiMAX, XGP), 3.9G (LTE), and 4G.
*White space is a frequency band allocated for broadcasting or other certain purposes, but can be used for other purposes depending on temporal, geographical or technical conditions.

Promoting the use of radio waves in various fields as a social infrastructure

Developing an environment for using radio waves

The MIC steps up its crackdown on illegal radio stations that jam radio waves in order to maintain and improve important radio communications related to air and marine radio communications, mobile telephony, fire defense radio communications, and other life-related important radio communications. The MIC also builds database systems for radio station licensees, and disseminates knowledge and rules for enabling people to use radio waves with peace of mind. In order to realize an environment where everyone can use radio waves safely and reliably, the MIC also drafts "Radio Radiation Protection Guidelines for Human Exposure to Electromagnetic Fields," develops basic concepts for judging whether a radio wave is in a safe situation that does not adversely affect the human body, and establishes standards for the safe use of radio waves.


3.9th generation mobile telephony (LTE: Long Term Evolution)

This system is an enhanced version of the current third-generation mobile telephony (3G). Its maximum transmission speed is more than 100 Mbps or comparable to that of optical fiber. It also features unprecedentedly advanced functions, including high frequency use efficiency and transformation of the network into an all-IP type of network. It was put into service from December 2010 in Japan.