Japan's J:COM to Start Unlimited Data VOD Mobile Service
The country's largest multi-system operator's new mobile service adds to its cable, Internet, fixed phone line and power offerings.
Japan's J:COM (Jupiter Telecommunications Co.) cable operator will begin a new mobile service on Oct. 29, offering a new mobile service featuring unlimited data download from its video-on-demand (VOD) platform.
Mobile phone carriers in Japan have shifted away from unlimited data plans over the last two years as use of high-definition video streaming and other bandwidth-hungry applications has soared.
The new $25 (￥2,980) service will work as a stand-alone mobile phone connection and allow J:COM customers to access VOD content without additional data charges using a dedicated handset or tablet from South Korea's LG. The handset was chosen because, despite having smartphone functionality, its appearance is that of a feature flip-phone, a style popular with J:COM's many older customers, a company spokesperson told The Hollywood Reporter.
An additional $8.40 (￥1,007) monthly fee will allow access to a package of content, while separate regular charges for will apply for some titles. J:COM on Demand celebrates its 10th anniversary this year and has around 50,000 titles in its library.
Telecom giant KDDI bought a controlling stake in J:COM from Liberty Global Media for $4 billion in 2010, and has been trying to find synergies between its mobile network and the cable and Internet operations. J:COM bought a power company for $102 million in 2013 and also offers electricity to its customers.
The company had previously operated a mobile phone service, but discontinued it a few years back, according to the spokesperson.
Japan's largest multi-system operator (MSO) has nearly 5 million households subscribing to one of its major services, and 3.44 million to its core cable offerings, bringing in revenue of $4.1 billion (￥490 billion) in the year to March.