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5G networks

Rakuten offers discount 5G in win for Suga's price-cut push

Newcomer mounts challenge against Japan's big three mobile carriers

Rakuten CEO Hiroshi Mikitani unveils the company's new 5G plan on Sept. 30. (Photo by Shihoko Nakaoka)

TOKYO -- Japanese billionaire Hiroshi Mikitani's e-commerce group Rakuten on Wednesday announced it will offer an unlimited 5G wireless data plan for roughly half the price of the country's top three mobile providers, in a move that could trigger discounts across the industry.

Rakuten's 5G plan will be available for 2,980 yen ($28) a month plus tax within its service area, the same rate as its 4G plan. The e-commerce company is a relative newcomer to mobile services, this spring breaking into an industry long dominated by NTT Docomo, KDDI and SoftBank. It hopes to attract more customers through affordable and easy-to-understand plans.

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