Japan Pushing To End Smartphone Bundling Cut Wireless Fees Source

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TOKYO – Japan is aiming to force wireless carriers to cut their monthly fees and stop bundling the cost of smartphones with wireless services, a senior telecoms ministry source said on Tuesday, in a move that is likely to hit Apple Inc.

Japan’s top wireless carriers, NTT Docomo Inc, KDDI Corp and SoftBank Group Corp, typically provide phones without upfront charges as part of fixed-term contracts that can cost as much as 10,000 yen ($90.51) a month. Customers effectively pay for handsets in installments.

The government, which sees these contracts as muddying the cost of handsets and mobile fees and creating barriers for entry, wants carriers to charge separately for phones, the senior telecoms ministry source told Reuters.

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