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Re: [tlug] [OT] Japan SIM card for foreign phone

Bruno Raoult writes:

 > I made the maths, and don't get it.

 > FYI, in France, the "Free" operator got already 10% of market share
 > in one year (starting from zero), offering only subscription (and
 > low prices).

 > Clients make the maths, not only the operators.

Welcome to Japan, Bruno!  It's true that consumers in Japan have some
power, but they've been brainwashed to think that although choice is
good, competition is bad (except on the quality dimension).  This is
very convenient for incumbent oligopolists (who also believe in it).
The system worked nicely (by world standards) for over 100 years.
(Contrary to popular belief, Japanese "miracle growth" started in
Meiji, not post-war.)

But what nobody understood (and they still don't) is that potential
economic growth per person is determined by technological progress,
and Japanese growth 1860-1980 was merely enabled by the quality and
spirit of the people, and the limit determined by the fact they were
so far behind.  Once they caught up in basically all export
industries, technological progress fell back to world levels, and so
did GDP growth per capita (in fact somewhat worse than that, but that
was due to transition dynamics and political incompetence).  So today
the government and the big companies are starting to break their
promises about job security and income transfers, and nobody knows
what to do about it.  (I don't, either, it's a very hard problem due
to the mobility of capital.)

 > PS. Surely France is a special case: We had an historical operator,
 > not private. When the law decided to open the market, FT had the
 > obligation to allow newcomers touse the infrastructures (owned by
 > France - I mean taxpayer) to rent it. Free pays a lot for that,
 > while they build their own.

Not so special -- at that level of description, it's just like Japan.
The carriers still rent infrastructure from each other, including the
right to hang their transmitters on others' cell towers.  The devils
are in the details, including business and consumer culture.

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