Zero-rating is one of the newest service options in the mobile broadband market. This option allows subscribers to access a certain content or application without having that traffic count against their data cap. Since it is concerned that internet service providers and/or network operators can strengthen market dominance by using this option anti-competitively, and distort net neutrality, the Japanese telecom authority is now paying close attention and is in a process of drafting rules for this new service option.
When we discuss what kind of rules are required and how binding they should be, it is important to empirically determine the degree of impacts zero-rating can cause on consumer behaviors and the current market structure. Based on the analysis of the online survey conducted in the early 2018, this paper shows that zero-rating is significantly attractive to mobile broadband users but not attractive enough to alter the oligopolistic structure in the Japan's mobile market, if zero-rating is employed by non-dominant mobile virtual network operators.