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I don’t know if DoCoMo had to answer to Softbank’s recent offer, but the number 1 operator in Japan is finally rolling out a fixed-rate roaming data plan for its subscribers (here’s the press release in Japanese).

The plan, to be available on September 1, will have a two-phase roll-out.

Up to March 31, the fixed-rate amount will be set at a daily JPY 1,480 (roughly USD 17), at JPY 0.2 per packet for non i-mode data and at a fixed rate of JPY 50 for 50 packets for i-mode data (JPY 0.2 per packet after that threshold).

On April 1, 2011, a different two-tier pricing model will be introduced. The previous plan stays the same, but will cost JPY 1,980 (roughly USD 23) up to 200,000 packets. After that limit is triggered, the plan rises to JPY 2,980 (roughly USD 34), but, this time, with no differenciation between i-mode and non i-mode data, all packets being set up a JPY 0.2.

Yeah. Not the most crystal clear pricing model, I know.

The plan will initially be available for 24 territories:

  • United States, incl. HI, AK (AT&T / Cingular)
  • Puerto Rico (AT&T / Cingular)
  • Virgin Islands (AT&T / Cingular)
  • South Korea (KT / KTF)
  • Taiwan (FET)
  • China (UNICOM / CU-GSM)
  • Hong Kong (3 -2G- 3HK)
  • India (CellOne DOLPHIN)
  • Indonesia (INDOSAT)
  • Singapore (STARHUB)
  • Thailand (TRUE)
  • Philippines (SMART)
  • Australia (OPTUS)
  • Ireland (O2)
  • United Kingdom (O2)
  • Austria (TMA)
  • Canary Islands (movistar)
  • Spain (movistar)
  • Czech Republic (O2 / ET)
  • Germany (T-Mobile)
  • France (Bouygues Telecom)
  • Monaco (Bouygues Telecom)

That’s a tad less than what Softbank covers in its initial offering (and, well, some territories seem to have been added just for the sake of adding territories…)

Subscribers who are using the current overseas data plans won’t lose their free included minutes (if they have some). They’ll have a relief period until December 1.

The plan bears some similarity with Softbank’s one. Again, doesn’t come cheap, but data roaming isn’t cheap anywhere (I call that a big scam, but that’s just me). It will surely interest business travelers and those twitter-addicted geeks.

Check with your local DoCoMo retailer to learn if you can add this plan to your current one and let us know what you think in the comments below.

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