Japanese youth dumping fiber lines for LTE

NTT, a Japanese wireline operator, is dropping the price on its fiber to the home product to attract new subscribers as Japan’s youth choose wireless LTE over fiber to the home service. NTT cut its monthly broadband rates by 34 percent to 3,600 yen (USD 43.74) in an effort to retain customers who don’t want to pay two communications bills.

From the a story on Australian tech news site Delimiter on the topic:

Sources at NTT East and NTT West are unequivocal in their views that the biggest single reason for the slowdown in FTTH subscriber growth is the fact that many young subscribers now prefer to have their own ‘personalised’ LTE broadband services rather than paying for a household-based FTTH service – in addition to which they would be paying for a Smartphone LTE data plan anyway.

And while popular Japanese carrier NTT DoCoMo (NTT is not allowed to bundle its two services, according to analyst firm Telegeography) is killing its unlimited data plans for those with caps, it seems that some in Japan are still content to go completely untethered on pricey connections. Australia is concerned about the possibility of this trend developing because the government has spent billions on a nationwide broadband network.

However, the risk of millions of people dumping wireline connections is a possible problem for the U.S. market as well. While I know of only two people who rely solely on their mobile broadband for all of their internet access, faster speeds and a lack of interest in web services such as Netflix or Hulu mean that some people could find mobile a “must-have” service and fiber or any wireline service an extra cost without much value.

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