Japan - mobile phones (SIM) to be unlocked in 2015

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Japan - mobile phones (SIM) to be unlocked in 2015

Post  Admin on Fri Nov 14, 2014 1:01 pm

As you may already know, the market of mobile devices in Japan is quite particular. Carriers purchase phones from manufacturers and sell them along with their own connection services. The SIM cards being locked, handsets cannot be used with other networks than the ones they were originally purchased from. Users often need to choose carriers, depending on the handset model they want. (When the first iPhone was released in Japan, it was only available from Softbank Mobile.) In order to dynamize competition between carriers, the Ministry of Home Affairs has published in 2010 a guideline to prompt carriers to unlock SIM cards voluntarily. However, this process hasn't been widely implemented.

Things should change however on the May 1st, 2015, with the implementation of a new "mandatory" guideline where carriers have to set processes where customers can have their SIM cards easily unlocked, allowing them to choose the best carriers for their needs. This should also allow foreign visitors in Japan to connect directly to the local carriers.

The MIC (Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications) has published a draft guideline - in japanese - on the MIC website and will be receiving public opinions about the new measures until December 1st, 2014, prior to finalize the guideline.


Should You require more information, do not hesitate to contact me !


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