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Rakuten to delay Japan's newest mobile network by 6 months

Bid to disrupt market hampered by slow progress on infrastructure

Rakuten's entry into the wireless market has been closely watched for its potential to inject fresh competition into a field dominated by three carriers. (Photo by Keiichiro Sato)

TOKYO -- Japanese e-commerce group Rakuten will delay the start of full mobile service until spring as it works to become the country's fourth wireless carrier, Nikkei has learned.

Service will be limited to only 5,000 users from Oct. 1, the original start date, owing to slow progress installing base stations and other network infrastructure. These users will not be charged for the service during the preliminary rollout.

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