Japan Telecommunications Regulatory Frame Work Analysis

Date: 2015-08-12

Japan’s telecommunications markets are regulated by Japan’s General Affairs Ministry. Telecommunications operators are required to obtain licenses by the General Affairs Ministry, and radio spectrum for broadcasting and for communications is also licensed by the General Affairs Ministry.

There are no spectrum auctions in Japan at this time, although from time to time the possibility of spectrum auctions is discussed. Spectrum is assigned by the General Affairs Ministry from time to time, e.g. when spectrum previously used for analog TV broadcasts became available due to the switch to digital TV. Radio spectrum is assigned by the Ministry in an internal administrative process (“Beauty Show”), where expert panels, and sometimes also public input is considered by the Ministry.

Find detailed explanations of spectrum allocation and base stations licensed and deployed in Japan in our reports on Japan’s telecom sector, and our reports on Japan’s major mobile operators: NTT-Docomo, KDDI, Softbank, and eMobile (now part of the SoftBank group).

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