Japan mulling tax on Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, other devices

  • Chicago (IL) - On July 5, a workshop was held by Japan's Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications (MIC) to consider imposing a “Radio Utilization Fee”.

    The fee would apply to radio devices that operate in license-free spectrum, which includes Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, Zigbee, and UWB technologies.

    The rationale behind the charge appears to be the Ministry's desire to control "illegal" "radio stations" and to promote "efficient" RF spectrum utilization. Japanese consumers already pay a yearly 420 Yen fee for each mobile phone.

    The Ministry opened a public comment phase, which closes on next Thursday, July 19.

    While the proposed fee is for Japan only, there is obvious industry concern about the establishment of a precedent that could be followed by other countries.

    References to the proposal (in Japanese) and related documents can be found at the following links:

    July 5 pre-meeting (PDF file)

    This article was published with permission from SmallNetbuilder

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