iPhone 4 to be Granted Access to NTT DoCoMo's Network
August 12, 2010
Japanese wireless service provider Japan Communications plans to launch a service, whereby allows iPhone 4 users to access mobile network operated by Japanese telecom operator NTT DoCoMo, the Kyodo News reported on August 7. Currently, another Japanese telecom operator Softbank Mobile is the exclusive seller for iPhone and iPad tablet PC in Japan, applying specific locks called SIM (Subscriber Identity Module) locks on iPhone, which block iPhone from accessing other network services. Following the launch of the service, Japan Communications stated that users only require to buy a special SIM card from the operator, with which users can access DoCoMo's network service by means of any unlocked iPhones that are either bought online or from aboard, according to the same source. The service will be priced at a monthly fee of 3,785 Yen (US$ 44.2; US$1 = 85.6 Yen) if users subscribe to both voice and data services. To date, iPhone is valued at around 60,000 Yen (US$700.9) without any service plans with a particular operator.
This move is in response to guidelines released by Japan's government which demanded telecom operators to unlock their mobile phones in a bid to increase competition in the 3G arena. Thus far, DoCoMo stated that the company will implement the policy as of April 2011, but the government is yet to receive any positive feedback from Softbank.