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Rakuten building mobile network to rack up cash like SoftBank

Taking on Japan's big carriers may not be as crazy as investors think

Rakuten, which launched a low-cost smartphone service in 2014, now wants to become a full-fledged carrier.   © Reuters

TOKYO -- Rakuten's announcement on Thursday that it will establish its own mobile network was clearly not what investors wanted to hear. They sent the Japanese online mall operator's stock plunging, fearing the company will have no chance against the country's big three carriers.

They may have missed the point.

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