Mobile phone service rate plan changes in the "cellular industry, Heisei era and the age of Heisei" | The walking path of Yuichi Kogure

Mobile phone service rate plan changes in the "cellular industry, Heisei era and the age of Heisei" | The walking path of Yuichi Kogure

The era of Heisei is about to end, but what has had a major impact on the world in the Heisei 30 years is still a mobile phone. On the basis of the car phone that started in December 1979, the shoulder phone that appeared as a carry-on telephone was first unveiled in 1985 (Showa 60), In addition, the handy-type mobile phone appeared in 1987. At that time, NTT DoCoMo was the service of one of the company’s exclusive services, but in December 1988, Japan Mobile Communications (IDO, current AU), the cellular phone (current AU) was opened in July 1989 (Heisei year), The market competition with the NTT group will be broke.Since the time of the Heisei era, mobile phones have undergone rapid development and will evolve into a convenient and excellent service at present. I have often talked about the history of this Heisei mobile phone from hardware, but this time I would like to look back on this 30 years and look at the new era of service from the perspective of “changes in the price plan and the sales measures associated with it”.

The terminal was rental only early rate plan (Heisei 1989 ~)

I was just a university student in the early days of the mobile phone exactly when the age changed from Showa to Heisei. I was very impressed by the first car phone and shoulder phones I saw and realized that this would be a great tool to change the future, and I devoted one to research the mobile phone services that each company provided. It was a service that I wanted to use it by all means, but it was not a service for the general public that the student was able to use it willingly by the contract at that time. In 1989, the mobile phone service, which was contracted in Tokyo, was provided by NTT (NTT Central Mobile Communications), and the car telephone, shoulder phone, and mobile phones provided by IDO, and the NTT group (note: differentiated IDO and Cellular were named “von”, and three of the two companies of the handy phone were lined up, and it was offered only by the rental.Yes, at that time, it was not yet well equipped to buy a mobile phone terminal as it is now, and signed a contract with a telecommunications company, and the terminal used to pay the basic usage fee including the rental fee every month.

Shoulder phones and mobile phoneThe cost of the contract of the mobile phone and monthly usage fee, As of April 1991, the cost of approximately 200,000 yen is incurred at the time of contract, and the basic monthly fee is 17,000 yen, with a guarantee of 100,000 yen, a new subscription fee of 45,800 yen, accessories (chargers and batteries, etc.) about 4 to 50,000 yen. The call fee was 10 yen for 6.5 seconds (in the case of NTT). It’s not like a college student can easily contract.The one that is still unrelated to the home of the general, it was a service that might not be edge if not used in some business. The author is also known as a collector in possession of the main terminal of the car telephone and shoulder phone, but in the student days “chagrin I could not afford to buy” in the reactionary, I have bought adult after becoming a member of society.After becoming a member of society, I was able to get the collection which became valuable now by the purchase of the terminal by the contract later because the service of the car telephone and the shoulder phone had been inherited.

Pricing plans since the purchase system (1994-)

Well, this was expensive early in the use of mobile phone service, but it was a big turning point in April, 1994. At the time, it was a mobile phone service that had only rental contract means, but from April 1994, the sales system of the terminal, so-called “purchase System” was started.At this time, the sales method of buying mobile phones and smartphones in stores has started from this moment. In addition, from April 1994, a new two-group mobile phone service will be entered in Japan, with new digital phones (current SoftBank) and Tu-ka (after being absorbed by KDDI, and now service termination).The Higashi-Meihan area was able to compete with four group cell phone services in one region, and this led to a large reduction in the cost of mobile phone use, while at the same time making mobile phones popular with many people in general. Since April 1994, mobile phone pricing has changed significantly.Until then, in the three categories of car telephones, shoulder phones, and mobile telephones, the fee plan, which included rental fees for monthly fees, was changed from April 1994 to a fee structure that divided the rental fee, the basic usage fee is 9,500 yen (NTT DoCoMo, Analog, In the case of Plan A), it has been greatly lowered.

Figure 1 > Basic mobile phone usage charges before and after the introduction of the purchase system (from NTT DoCoMo, NTT DoCoMo 10 Years (2002))

<Figure 1 > mobile phone basic usage charges before and after the introduction of the purchase system (NTT DoCoMo, NTT DoCoMo 10 years history) ( 2002)

Figure 2 > Purchase-based posters (from NTT DoCoMo's 10-year history of NTT DoCoMo, 2002)

<Figure 2 > Purchase-based posters (NTT DoCoMo NTT DoCoMo 10 Years History (2002)

In addition, the charge plan “plan B” (NTT DoCoMo’s plan name) is also available for users who want to use it as much as possible at low cost by receiving more than call transmission.Instead of the basic monthly fee of less expensive (about 4 to 7 thousand yen), the metered call fee was set to 1.5 times the plan A (other carriers also had different names, but basically had a similar plan). At that time, the basic function of the cellular phone was the first generation of only voice calls (1G), and the basic usage fee and the reduction of the required fees at the time of enrollment were sequentially done according to the increase in subscriber, It was a simple rate plan of the service age of the voice call subject. In 1995, the PHS service started, and three carriers with PHS as their business entered the market, but the pricing plan was similar.

New revenue source of packet communications charges (1999-)

The next turning point for mobile phone service pricing measures was the I-mode, which started in February 1999.In April of the same year, IDO/cellular (currently AU) started EZaccess/Ezaccess and entered the era of using Internet services on mobile phones.From this time on, in addition to the conventional line-switched communication service, the use of packet communication services has been generalized. At the same time, the collection of “Packet Communications charges” (data communications charges) has started in addition to basic usage charges and calling charges to use a mobile phone.As a result of the increase in subscribers, basic monthly charges and call charges have been lowered, but as a telecommunications carrier, packet communications have provided a new source of income other than voice calls. Internet services such as I-mode became a big boom, and the burden of packet communications charges grew every year as users used various content.”Pake-no-death” was also born a popular word. In November 2003, AU provided the “EZ flat” packet flat-rate service, and by the end of 2004, each telecommunications carrier began providing packet flat-rate services.The mobile phone itself has already changed its role from “telephone” to “information and communication equipment”. By the way, the number of subscribers to the packet flat-rate plan has increased, but it seems that there were not so many users who used up the packet in cellular phone service at that time. See Figure 3 below.In 2010, the packet communications charges for NTT DoCoMo’s 1 user average (ARPU = Average Revenue Per user) were extracted from investors ‘ information published by NTT DoCoMo in fy2010, It stays at 550 yen.On the other hand, voice calling charges have been reduced every year, and it is found that 2,560 yen in fy2010, the timing of the reverse of the voice call charges and packet communications charges.

Figure 3 > NTT DoCoMo Investor Resources (2010)<Figure 3 > NTT DoCoMo Investor Resources (2010)

At that time, the mobile phone terminal is a high performance camera for each model change, and start the video service, the era of adding a variety of functions from the perspective of how many users to use packet communication.In fact, it was a smartphone that was supposed to significantly bounce off packet communications charges. In July 2008, the iPhone 3G has been launched in our country.It is the beginning of the smartphone era.Of course, smartphones have existed before, but it was a great opportunity for the iPhone to spread to the general public. A smartphone with a larger display than a conventional mobile phone and a Web service for personal computers could be used in the palm of your hand, so the amount of packet consumption was too big to be compared to a mobile phone. Figure 4 is a major three-carrier ARPU from the third quarter of 2008 to the second quarter of 2010.With the increase in the number of subscribers, there was a reduction in the amount of sales per user each year, and we can see that SoftBank has been recovering V-shaped since the fourth quarter of 2008.This will be the result of the iPhone. This data became an opportunity for NTT DoCoMo and AU to shift their main terminals from their mobile phones to smartphones from around 2010.At the same time, the number of packets for smartphones was raised toabout 6,000 yen or less per month, resulting in more revenue.

Figure 4 > Q3 2008-3 career ARPU comparisons in 2Q 2010

<Figure. 4 > Q3 2008-3rd career ARPU comparison in Q2 2010

To the time when data communication charges become the leading Role (2014-)

And, smartphones have greatly changed the way of communication through mobile.Although it was a mobile phone that was primarily a voice call, the use of voice calls has been decreasing further, with smartphones making changes to communication through the Web and to SNS. In accordance with these changes, the pricing plan for each carrier has changed significantly in June 2014. NTT DoCoMo started accepting the new fee plan “Kake-Hodai”, and the previous rate plan was closed at the end of August of the same year.It was a combination of a metered voice call charge and a flat-rate packet communication charge in addition to the basic usage fee, but this new plan included a voice call charge without the limit in the basic usage fee before Kakhoe-Hodai, In addition to this, we went on to replace the fee system, which would return packet communications charges to a metered system, so to speak, to combine the data communication charges as needed. Other carriers will follow.For voice calls that continue to decrease in use, the data communication charges will increase with the high performance of smartphones, and it has become a plan tailored to the era that it will lead to profit by making data communications charges a metered system.In addition, it is now possible to return the voice call back to the metered system, and also set up a fee plan that provides a cheaper monthly basic fee.

Table 1 > New pricing plan for 2014, 3 career comparison chart

< Table 1 > New Rate Plan for 2014, 3 carrier comparison table

How does the world change in the mandatory separation plan?(Heisei 31)

In 2019, which is the next era of Heisei, the keyword that has become a topic is “Separation plan”.What kind of price plan will it really change? The separation, which is said here, is that we will clearly separate the cost of the terminal and the communication charges. The mobile phone service fee plan, while looking at the service and user usage trends provided in each era, and repeat the addition of options to be a new revenue source at the same time lowering the usage fee, The contents have been devised to be able to collect a certain usage fee from the user while changing greatly. In recent years, the usage fee itself has continued to remain high, but on the other hand, while smartphones are becoming more expensive, the method of selling a discount on the purchase price of the smartphone from the monthly usage fee was established.At first glance, it looked like a very grateful system to be able to buy expensive smartphone deals, but the first place is that the communication fee that can be discounted is the proper one, it is now discussed that. Moreover, the discount amount of the terminal price depends on the model, or the contract form (whether the model change or a new MNP contract), and the person who receives the benefit, It came to be a problem that some people did not benefit just by continuing to pay expensive communications charges. In addition, in the discount of the terminal price with the condition of the line contract, the conclusion of the line contract that assumes the use of 24 months or more as the condition is required, the occurrence of a high penalty and when the wrong timing of the cancellation, A lump sum repayment of the split terminal price is now required.It was pointed out that this prevented the cancellation, and the so-called enclosure was obstructed and the competition was blocked, and the country carried out an urgent proposal to optimize the mobile service etc. in November 2018 (Heisei 30) through the Expert Meeting etc. After revising the Telecommunications Business Act this spring, we decided to make the introduction of a “separation plan” that clarifies the cost of terminals and communications charges.

Photo 2 > Discounts aimed at containment will end<Photo 2 > Discount for enclosure is ending

The contents of the concrete separation plan will be released by each telecommunications carrier in the future.The definition of the “separation Plan”, which the country has shown, is to prohibit the discount of communications charges on the basis of the purchase of the terminal, the so-called “monthly Support”, “Monthly discount” and “Month discount”, and the terminal purchase subsidy which is discounted from monthly communication fee is NG.In addition, we prohibit the discount of the terminal price under the condition of the continuation use of a certain period of the communication contract such as NTT DoCoMo’s “terminal purchase Support”. The terminal price is definitely soaring when it comes, but it is expected that the basic usage fee will be cheaper only the amount of funds that were used to assist those terminal purchase.If you pay 24 times by yourself using credit, etc. at the time of purchase of the terminal, it is said that the total expense cost of combined with the communication fee will not change greatly. Although it seems to be said that nothing changes, the width of the terminal and the service might spread greatly by not being bound by the communication carrier for the user. With regard to smartphone terminals, there is no need to be bound by the limited line-up that a telecommunications carrier provides.It is said that you can use a SIM-free smartphone that is sold in an online store, etc., and a new market of pre-owned goods and used goods will expand. In addition, the SIM card will increase the number of users who use MVNO to be more advantageous, without sticking to a major telecommunications carrier.If we are able to freely select terminals and telecommunications services through the liberalization of mobile communications in Japan, we will be able to accelerate the competition between the operators again to give us more benefits to our users.

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