Thank God for Softbank Mobile. Mr. Son has yet brought competition to the market. Ten years ago, Softbank invested in broadband and spent oodles on getting users signed up on Yahoo BB here in Japan. They were very successful and brought the pricing of NTT and KDDI into the competitive arena. Very effective strategy that I believe directly contributed to making Japan the fastest and cheapest internet in the world. Only South Korea comes close to the speed and cost we have in Japan.
Mr. Son initiated a similiar program after purchasing Vodafone’s Japan operation. Rumor is that he went into heavy debt doing that. He rolled out very cheap calling plans trying to mass up subscribers. The famous White Plan is advertised at 980 yen/month with free calls to any other Softbank users (Great marketing idea!). In actuality, they have a number of other fees that take it to over 2,000 yen and put you on a two year contract and tie you into a phone terminal.
From what I understand, SBM only has two operation centers for their mobile network. NTT Docomo has some 50 network centers throughout Japan. Can you imagine the difference in operational costs in staffing those centers? That would definitely give SBM the ability to pass on those savings to their clients.
I think the Softbank strategy is working. To make sure we can support our partners and their IT, I have three mobile phones. I have noticed the connection time on my softbank is lagging. There is a connection delay from yesterday.
Beginning to wonder if they may have oversold their network capacity… If you are in Japan and using Softbank, have you noticed?