Amazon is set to
enter the Japanese MVNO market, selling sell prepaid 500MB SIM cards for a flat rate of ¥1980 (about $25); the first entry by a foreign-owned corporation, reports Nikkei. The cards will be usable on NTT Docomo’s LTE network — the nation’s largest — which would make sense given that the two companies are partnering for the Japanese release of Amazon's Kindle e-reader this summer.
Typical smartphone service contracts in Japan cost between ¥5000 and ¥6000 (about $63 to $75) a month, and the cards would presumably give users finer control over their bills. Nikkei states that not only will the cards function in NTT Docomo’s smartphones and tablets, but also devices like the iPhone that are built to “foreign specifications.” Nikkei doesn't give a launch timeframe for the new service, but perhaps we'll hear something from Amazon in the next few days.
Update: this post has been updated due to a factual error. Amazon is partnering with MVNO Japan Communications.