Rakuten to Delay Start of Full Mobile Services

Economy

Tokyo, Sept. 6 (Jiji Press)--Rakuten Inc. <4755> will push back the start of its full mobile phone services in Japan, due to a delay in constructing base stations.

Rakuten Mobile Inc., a unit of the Japanese e-commerce company, initially planned to start the full services in October. From next month, it now plans to offer free services to 5,000 customers.

Hiroshi Mikitani, Rakuten's chairman and chief executive officer, told a press conference on Friday that the full-fledged mobile services will be launched as soon as possible once stable operations are confirmed.

In response to media reports that the start of the services is expected to be delayed for six months, Mikitani said the launch will come "maybe one month later, or three months."

Due to difficulties securing necessary land, Rakuten Mobile faces delays in its base station construction plans, which call for setting up a total of 3,432 base stations mainly in Tokyo, Osaka and Nagoya by the end of March next year.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press