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ECONOMY

Rakuten to become fourth wireless carrier 

  • April 7, 2018
  • , All national papers
  • JMH Summary

All Saturday morning papers reported that the Radio Regulatory Council of the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications decided on Friday to allocate 4G bandwidth to Rakuten, allowing the company to launch cellular services in October 2019 as the fourth major wireless carrier in Japan. The decision is expected to be formally endorsed by Minister of Internal Affairs Noda on Monday. But Nikkei noted that the panel conditioned its approval on Rakuten building its own network and securing funds for capital investment due to concerns over the viability of Rakuten’s plan, which aims to offer prices 30% lower than the three existing carriers – Docomo, KDDI, and Softbank. The papers said Rakuten’s debut as a wireless carrier will intensify price competition among the carriers.

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