Rakuten applies to become Japan's fourth mobile network
E-tailer will offer plans linked to online shopping to lure customers
Rakuten Chairman and CEO Hiroshi Mikitani.
TOKYO -- Rakuten applied for a cellular frequency band with Japan's communications ministry on Monday, aiming to launch service in 2019 as the country's fourth wireless carrier.
The e-commerce site operator plans to have 15 million customers in about 10 years by mounting a direct challenge to the three established players -- NTT Docomo, KDDI and SoftBank Group.
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