Rakuten Mobile to Get ‘platinum’ Frequency Bands

Reuters file photo
The logo of Rakuten is pictured at the headquarters of Rakuten in Tokyo on May 15, 2019.

TOKYO (Jiji Press) — Rakuten Mobile Inc. is expected to be allocated new “platinum” frequency bands by the end of this month at the earliest.

The Japanese communications ministry said Tuesday that Rakuten Mobile was the only company to apply for the 700-megahertz slots during the application period from Aug. 29 to Friday.

Platinum frequency bands in the 700-900 MHz range enable seamless mobile services indoors and outdoors and are currently allocated to three major mobile carriers in Japan — NTT Docomo Inc., KDDI Corp. and SoftBank Corp. Rakuten Mobile, a relative newcomer in the market, does not have them now.

The ministry will ask the Radio Regulatory Council, an advisory panel to the communications minister, on Oct. 23 to examine the application. The council may make a decision on whether to approve it within the day.

The panel will check whether the plan submitted by Rakuten Mobile meets the minimum standards in terms of area expansion, base station facilities and finances.

“We will grant approval swiftly if the council recommends it,” communications minister Junji Suzuki said at a press conference on Tuesday.

Rakuten Mobile said in a statement that it submitted the application to develop its telecommunications network and ensure fair competition.