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Japan's 3 big mobile carriers to launch IoT services in 2018

Low-cost plans from Docomo, KDDI, SoftBank seen lifting nascent field

Consumers will soon begin reaping the benefits of the internet of things. China's Hisense demonstrates a system that allows users to control air conditioners in the home remotely at a trade fair in Barcelona.

TOKYO -- Japan's top three mobile carriers will roll out affordable telecommunications services next year to power the "internet of things" for corporations seeking to boost their competitive advantage.

The IoT wireless speeds provided by NTT Docomo, KDDI and SoftBank Group will be no match for smartphone data services, which are hundreds of times as fast. But the fees will be proportionally cheaper than the thousands of yen, or tens of dollars, a month that smartphone plans can run.

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