Tokyo, March 23, 2018 – Rakuten, Inc., today announced that is has decided to utilize the transmission towers, utility poles, telecommunication towers, rooftop facilities and other infrastructure of Chubu Electric Power Co., Inc. in establishing a network of base stations for its Mobile Network Operator (MNO) business, if its frequency band allocation is granted.
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.
If Rakuten’s frequency band allocation is granted, the company plans to make use of Chubu Electric Power’s transmission towers, utility poles, telecommunication towers, rooftop facilities and other infrastructure in and around Japan’s Chubu region for its base station locations. Rakuten and Chubu Electric Power have opened discussions about the details of the agreement.
Rakuten is looking to invest in base station infrastructure in the most efficient way possible and will consider collaborations with other electric utilities in order to achieve Japan-wide service coverage, as it prepares for entry into the MNO business subject to approval of its frequency band allocation application at the end of March.