Japan’s popular mobile messaging service Line is all set to launch mobile services using its own SIM cards and low-cost smartphone, reports Japan Times. Dubbed as Line Mobile, it will launch in Japan on October 1.
For the cellular network, Line is partnering with NTT Docomo. The plans start from US$4.40 a month excluding tax. The Line Mobile will offer free access to the messaging app, as well as Facebook and Twitter. “That means when you browse Line, Facebook, or Twitter, view and upload photos, it won’t diminish your monthly mobile data allowance. The free data rations include Line’s online calling feature and also streaming from Line Music,” stated the report.
Line also provides popular smartphone games, however, the data used for these games will be counted. Jun Masuda, chief strategy and marketing officer at Line, said that the company hopes the new low-cost smartphones to increase the smartphone usage in Japan. According to him, about half of Japan’s cellphone subscribers are still not using smartphones.
Line Mobile has begun the advance sales of 20,000 SIM cards. There are eight models of SIM-free Android smartphones and tablets as well. The customers can subscribe to the service online, but the company will soon expand the availability to the electronic stores across the nation.
“The impact of Line Mobile entering the market is quite high,” said Ayano Kado, chief of Line Mobile. “Many people are not familiar with the term MVNO, but they know Line. We hope to contribute to improving the recognition of budget smartphone services,” Kado said.