Japan’s third-ranked cellco Softbank Mobile has upped the ante in the battle for the key student market.
From today, new student customers who sign up for the White Plan won’t have to foot its 980 yen ($10.80) basic monthly fee for three years, and the monthly fee will be waivered for up to 16 months for family members, Nikkei reported.
The new plan is a response to student discounts unveiled by NTT DoCoMo last month.
Softbank chairman& CEO Masayoshi Son has previously stated that Softbank Mobile will quickly better any promotional offering of its rivals.
The firm is the clear discount leader in the market and combined with its exclusive distribution rights to Apple’s iPhone in Japan, Softbank Mobile led Japan’s net adds race in 2008 and 2009.
With the market approaching saturation, the spring shopping season by the student community is a key market segment for operators.
Softbank Mobile unleashed its White Plan for students in January 2008, offering three years free monthly subscriptions for new users, but free monthly rates for family members are not part of the deal.