Tokyo, March 6, 2018 – Rakuten, Inc., Tokyo Electric Power Company Holdings, Inc., and TEPCO Power Grid, Inc. today announced an agreement for Rakuten to utilize TEPCO Group’s existing infrastructure rental program, covering transmission towers, utility poles, telecommunication towers, rooftop facilities and other equipment, in establishing a network of base stations for its Mobile Network Operator (MNO) business.
Rakuten has applied to Japan’s Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications for frequency band allocation for the 4th generation mobile communications system (4G) (1.7 GHz band and 3.4 GHz band) with the aim of entering the MNO business. TEPCO Group operates a rental program for its infrastructure, and this agreement was reached in recognition of the fact that it meets the needs of all three companies.
If Rakuten’s frequency band allocation is granted, the company will look to invest in infrastructure in the most efficient way possible, making use of TEPCO Group’s transmission towers, utility poles, telecommunication towers, rooftop facilities and other infrastructure for its base station locations on the basis of this agreement. Rakuten will also consider collaborations with other electric utilities as it moves forward with preparations in expectation of approval of its frequency band allocation application by the end of March. TEPCO Group is taking this opportunity to rationalize its rental procedures by creating a single point of contact to meet the broad range of needs for infrastructure rental.