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Estimating switching costs involved in changing mobile phone carriers in Japan: Evaluation of lock-in factors related to Japan's SIM card locks


  • Nakamura, Akihiro


This paper employs a web-based conjoint-type questionnaire to examine empirically user preference for a hypothetical Subscriber Identity Module (SIM) unlock situation in Japan's mobile phone market. This paper also analyzes carriers' other marketing strategies to lock in consumers. The empirical analysis in this study reveals the following: over 80% of survey respondents evaluate a highly compatible platform with the SIM unlocked. Approximately 70% of consumers find that the value of discounts on initial payments exceeds the discounts on one-year monthly payments. In addition, conditions set by continuing agreements for mobile carriers and mobile handsets reduce consumer benefit by 35% at the median in the case of SIM unlocking with compatible platforms.

Suggested Citation

  • Nakamura, Akihiro, 2010. "Estimating switching costs involved in changing mobile phone carriers in Japan: Evaluation of lock-in factors related to Japan's SIM card locks," Telecommunications Policy, Elsevier, vol. 34(11), pages 736-746, December.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:telpol:v:34:y:2010:i:11:p:736-746

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    Cited by:

    1. Kuroda, Toshifumi & Koguchi, Teppei & Ida, Takanori, 2019. "Identifying the effect of mobile operating systems on the mobile services market," Information Economics and Policy, Elsevier, vol. 46(C), pages 86-95.
    2. Confraria, João & Ribeiro, Tiago & Vasconcelos, Helder, 2017. "Analysis of consumer preferences for mobile telecom plans using a discrete choice experiment," Telecommunications Policy, Elsevier, vol. 41(3), pages 157-169.
    3. Guven, Faruk, 2018. "Churn and loyalty behaviour of Turkish digital natives," 29th European Regional ITS Conference, Trento 2018 184943, International Telecommunications Society (ITS).
    4. Mwakatumbula, Hilda Jacob & Moshi, Goodiel Charles & Mitomo, Hitoshi, 2019. "Consumer protection in the telecommunication sector: A comparative institutional analysis of five African countries," Telecommunications Policy, Elsevier, vol. 43(7), pages 1-1.
    5. Park, Yuri & Koo, Yoonmo, 2016. "An empirical analysis of switching cost in the smartphone market in South Korea," Telecommunications Policy, Elsevier, vol. 40(4), pages 307-318.
    6. Basaure, Arturo & Suomi, Henna & Hämmäinen, Heikki, 2014. "Effects of transaction and switching costs on mobile market performance," 20th ITS Biennial Conference, Rio de Janeiro 2014: The Net and the Internet - Emerging Markets and Policies 106830, International Telecommunications Society (ITS).
    7. Basaure, Arturo & Suomi, Henna & Hämmäinen, Heikki, 2016. "Transaction vs. switching costs—Comparison of three core mechanisms for mobile markets," Telecommunications Policy, Elsevier, vol. 40(6), pages 545-566.
    8. Nakamura, Akihiro, 2015. "Mobile and fixed broadband access services substitution in Japan considering new broadband features," Telecommunications Policy, Elsevier, vol. 39(2), pages 140-154.
    9. Joachim Freyberger & Bradley J. Larsen, 2017. "Identification in Ascending Auctions, with an Application to Digital Rights Management," NBER Working Papers 23569, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    10. Lee, Daeho & Shin, Jungwoo & Lee, Sangwon, 2015. "Network management in the era of convergence: Focusing on application-based quality assessment of Internet access service," Telecommunications Policy, Elsevier, vol. 39(8), pages 705-716.
    11. Suraj Kushe Shekhar, 2015. "Mobile Number Portability and Consumer Behaviour: A Study with Reference to Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited, India," Hyperion Economic Journal, Faculty of Economic Sciences, Hyperion University of Bucharest, Romania, vol. 3(3), pages 19-23, September.
    12. Nakamura, Akihiro, 2017. "Evaluating Customer Reviews in Matching Services on the Internet," 28th European Regional ITS Conference, Passau 2017 169486, International Telecommunications Society (ITS).
    13. Czajkowski, Mikołaj & Sobolewski, Maciej, 2016. "How much do switching costs and local network effects contribute to consumer lock-in in mobile telephony?," Telecommunications Policy, Elsevier, vol. 40(9), pages 855-869.
    14. Florez Ramos, Esmeralda & Blind, Knut, 2020. "Data portability effects on data-driven innovation of online platforms: Analyzing Spotify," Telecommunications Policy, Elsevier, vol. 44(9).
    15. Rebeca Escobar Briones, 2018. "Impacto de las modificaciones en el proceso de portabilidad numérica sobre los servicios de telecomunicación móvil/The impact on telecommunications services of modifications to mobile number portabili," Estudios Económicos, El Colegio de México, Centro de Estudios Económicos, vol. 33(1), pages 3-28.


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