February 9, 2021 Request for Calculation of Data Interconnection Charges Applicable from FY2021

The Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications (MIC) has today made a request to NTT Docomo Inc. (headed by II Motoyuki, President and CEO), KDDI Corporation (headed by TAKAHASHI Makoto, President and Representative Director), and SoftBank Corp. (headed by President & CEO, Ken Miyauchi) on the forecast of data interconnection charges that will be applied from fiscal 2021. To be concrete, MIC has requested that the data interconnection charges be calculated with a more precise forecast than ever by appropriately reflecting the outlook for the market environment.

New high-capacity rate plans (hereafter referred to as the “low-priced plans”) have been announced by three mobile network operators (MNOs), i.e., NTT Docomo Inc., KDDI Corporation, and SoftBank Corp.), which will reduce the burden on households. Therefore, the low-priced plans will lead to the revitalization of the entire mobile market and consumers. On the other hand, the user rate level of the low-priced plans is close to those for services provided by many MVNOs. Therefore, the low-priced plans can significantly impact the competitive environment of the mobile market, including MVNOs. It is more important than ever to ensure the adequacy of interconnection charges.
The data interconnection charges of the three MNOs, i.e., telecommunications carriers that install category II designated telecommunications facilities, are currently calculated by the future cost accounting method based on rational future forecasts. More precise cost and demand forecasts are required to ensure appropriateness in light of changes in the market environment.
For example, concerning demand, the introduction of the low-priced plans will trigger low-capacity plan subscribers’ shift to high-capacity plans. Overall, it is expected that there will be a significantly increasing demand for data usage. MIC recognizes that efforts to improve efficiency, such as utilizing existing facilities and developing new technologies, are progressing in terms of costs.
The three MNOs will submit forecast interconnection charges applied from 2021 by the end of February this year. Against this background, MIC has requested the three MNOs to appropriately reflect the outlook for the market environment, including the changes in the situation illustrated above, and make calculations based on even more precise forecasts.


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International Policy Division, Global Strategy Bureau, MIC

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