Rakuten to Launch Full-Scale Mobile Phone Service April 8


Tokyo, March 3 (Jiji Press)--Rakuten Inc. <4755> said Tuesday that it will launch a full-scale mobile phone service in Japan on April 8, offering a single-fee plan of 2,980 yen a month.

The plan offers unlimited data communications in areas covered by Rakuten's own communications networks in the three metropolitan areas of Tokyo, Osaka and Nagoya.

Rakuten's plan also allows subscribers to enjoy data communications of up to 2 gigabytes per month without extra fees in areas relying on communications lines leased from major Japanese mobile carrier KDDI Corp. <9433>.

At an online press conference, Rakuten's chairman, president and chief executive officer, Hiroshi Mikitani, showed his confidence to win over customers from its three bigger rivals--NTT Docomo Inc. <9437> and Softbank Corp. <9434> as well as KDDI. "We've made a shocking subscription plan," he said.

As Rakuten's plan costs less than half of the fees charged by the three major carriers in the three metropolitan areas, their responses to counter the newcomer will draw attention, analysts said.


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Jiji Press