A resolution was reached at the Rakuten, Inc. Board of Directors meeting held today that Rakuten, Inc. (hereinafter the “Company”) intends to enter into the Mobile Network Operator (MNO) business.
1. Application for Frequency Band Allocation
A resolution was reached at the Rakuten, Inc. Board of Directors meeting held today, that the Company would apply to the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications (hereinafter the “MIC”) for frequency band allocation for the 4th generation mobile communications system (4G) (1.7 GHz band and 3.4 GHz band), once application registration opens. If the application for the frequency band allocation is approved by the MIC, Rakuten Group (hereinafter the “Group”) will launch a new MNO business.
In Japan, the proportion of household spending taken up by telecommunication expenses is rising each year, and the reduction of the financial burden on consumers of mobile phones and other communications expenses is often cited to be a major social issue. In addition, as the current MNO market is criticized as a coordinated oligopoly among existing operators, the government is in the middle of a thorough industry review aimed at ensuring fair competition and the protection of consumer interests.
Under such circumstances, the MIC now recognizes that it is essential to expand the allocated frequency bands in response to the constant increase in mobile phone traffic, and is considering the additional allocation of frequencies for the 4G. The Company has made a decision today to apply for the additionally allocated 4G frequencies.