Rakuten Files for Frequency Band Allocation

Economy

Tokyo, Feb. 26 (Jiji Press)—Rakuten Inc. has applied for frequency band allocation from the Japanese communications ministry to start mobile phone service, company officials said Monday.

If approved, the major Japanese cybermall operator will start fourth-generation wireless service using its own communications infrastructure at the end of 2019.

The company aims to attract subscribers by linking the communications service with its online shopping service.

Rakuten already provides budget smartphone service using networks leased from NTT Docomo Inc.

Rakuten's latest move will make the company a major rival to NTT Docomo, KDDI Corp.'s "au" brand and Softbank Group Corp., a development that may lead to cuts in communications fees in the Japanese mobile phone industry.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

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