Thursday 3 February 2022

Is Japan an undisputed 4G/LTE Leader?

A recent survey conducted by ICT Research Institute, Inc., Japan, came to a conclusion that the quality of communication across Japan was at a very high level when compared to other developed nation while at the same time the costs were very reasonable and much lower than other countries. 

The following is an extract from the press release (in Japanese, translated by Google translate):

In the summer of 2018, the government pointed out that there is room for a 40% price cut, giving the impression that mobile phone charges in Japan are high, but after that, mobile phone operators have introduced new rate plans one after another. It seems that the new rate system of Japanese MNOs (mobile network operators) has taken root in the past year, including online-only plans.

The purpose of this survey was to understand the current state of communication charges in Japan, including a comparison with "communication quality," which is emphasized as an important core infrastructure.

The subjects of the survey were his MNOs in six countries, Japan, the United States, the United Kingdom, France, Germany, and South Korea, and the smartphone charges for each country were as of December 1, 2021. In December 2021, we conducted a web questionnaire survey for Japanese mobile phone users. This survey is positioned as a sequel to a similar survey announced by the Company in July 2020.

As a result of the survey, the average monthly smartphone charges for the six countries as of December 1, 2021 are 3,538 yen, 5GB 3,895 yen, 20GB 4,614 yen, and unlimited 7,097 yen for a data capacity of 2GB. Overall, fares in Japan and the United Kingdom were low, and fares in the United States and Germany were high.

Japan has the lowest monthly charge of 2GB (1,477 yen) and 20GB (2,445 yen) among the six countries, and the United Kingdom has the lowest monthly charge of 5GB (2,222 yen) and unlimited (3,777 yen) among the six countries. .. Japan is second only to the cheapest data capacity category, and the United Kingdom is second only to the cheapest data capacity category.

The United States is the highest among the six countries in the 2GB, 5GB, and 20G categories, and Germany is at a high level overall, exceeding the average rate of the six countries in all data capacity categories.

In the previous survey (announced in July 2020), Japan's tariffs were "medium level" among the six countries, but in this survey they have dropped significantly to the lowest level among the six countries. It turned out that there was.

In this survey, we referred to the survey data of Agoop Co., Ltd. in order to compare the communication quality of each country. According to this network connection rate result, Japan has the highest 4G connection rate of 99.4% among the six countries. South Korea was followed by 96.0% and the United States at 93.1%.

Not only is Japan the top 4G connection rate, but the 3G connection rate is also 0.3%. The ratio of "out of service / timeout" is only 0.3%, and it can be said that the communication quality is the highest among the six countries.

The results of the three European countries have lower 4G connection rates than the three countries of Japan, the United States and South Korea. About 10% are connected by 2G or 3G communication method, and the ratio of "out of service / timeout" is also relatively high.

The press release here has more details and graphs.

It should be kept in mind that this is a very small sample of countries and most importantly it is missing China, which would make some of these comparisons very tricky.

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