ArrowArtboardCreated with Sketch.Title ChevronTitle ChevronIcon FacebookIcon LinkedinIcon Mail ContactPath LayerIcon MailPositive ArrowIcon Print

Rakuten looks to cut into Japan's mobile carrier oligopoly

E-tailer plans $5bn infrastructure push, eyes new wireless frequencies

Japanese e-tailer Rakuten, which has diversified heavily in recent years, aims to pour more effort into its mobile service business.

TOKYO -- Online retailer Rakuten aims to become Japan's fourth major mobile carrier, angling for a slice of wireless spectrum and gearing up to invest heavily in infrastructure.

NTT Docomo, KDDI and SoftBank Group control 90% of Japan's cellular market. There are some competitors -- including mobile virtual network operators, which rent network infrastructure -- offering low-cost smartphone plans, but the trio has protected their market share by offering similar inexpensive services. Opening a chink in their armor would usher in a new era of competition, and likely push down fees.

Sponsored Content

About Sponsored Content This content was commissioned by Nikkei's Global Business Bureau.

Discover the all new Nikkei Asia app

  • Take your reading anywhere with offline reading functions
  • Never miss a story with breaking news alerts
  • Customize your reading experience

Nikkei Asian Review, now known as Nikkei Asia, will be the voice of the Asian Century.

Celebrate our next chapter
Free access for everyone - Sep. 30

Find out more