October 27, 2020 Announcement of Action Plan for Creating a Fair Competitive Environment for the Mobile Market
From the perspective of clarifying the matters that the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications (MIC) should work on to create a fair, competitive environment for the mobile market, MIC has made an action plan based on a 2020 Report on Verification of Competition Rules and other references.
Mobile phones are now people’s daily necessities. At the same time, they play a role as an essential infrastructure that protects people’s lives and property and supports socio-economic activities. Therefore, society requires the realization of charges and services comparable to international users and easily understood by domestic users. Accordingly, it is necessary to create an environment where users can use low-cost and diverse services that meet their needs.
MIC has been making efforts to create a fair, competitive environment in the mobile market to realize low-priced and diverse services through fierce competition among operators. In October of last year, the Act on Partial Amendments to the Telecommunications Business Act (Act No. 5, 2019, hereafter referred to as the “Amendatory Act) came into force to completely separate communications charges and terminal device charges and to rectify the excessive enclosure of customers. Since then, MIC has been steadily executing the Amendatory Act.
Furthermore, MIC organized a Working Group (WG) on Verification of Competition Rules (Chief Investigator: NIIMI Ikufumi, Professor Emeritus at Meiji University) under a Meeting for Telecommunications Market Validation (chaired by OHASHI Hiroshi, Professor, Graduate School of Economics, Faculty of Economics, University of Tokyo). Since then, the WG has been examining the effects of measures taken by the Amendatory Act and the impact of the Amendatory Act on the mobile market.
Recently, the WG has completed its 2020 Report on Verification of Competition Rules. Furthermore, discussions have been in progress at related expert study groups, including MIC’s Study Group on Calculation of Interconnection Charges (chaired by TSUJI Masatsugu, President and Professor at Kobe International University), which completed the fourth report in September of this year.
In addition to the enforcement of the Amendatory Act and these reports, MIC considered various people, businesses, and experts’ opinions received at an opinion exchange meeting held on October 8, 2020, by TAKEDA Ryota, Minister for Internal Affairs and Communications, and mobile phone users. Then MIC has made this action plan from the perspective of clarifying the matters that MIC should work on to create a fair, competitive environment for the mobile market.
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International Policy Division, Global Strategy Bureau, MIC
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