Japan to Allocate “Platinum” Band Slots to Rakuten

The Yomiuri Shimbun
Kazuhiro Suzuki (second from left), Co-CEO of Rakuten Mobile, receives a certificate of platinum band allocation from Junji Suzuki (center), Internal Affairs and Communications State Minister, in Tokyo on Monday.

Tokyo (Jiji Press)—Japan’s communications ministry said Monday that it will allocate to Rakuten Mobile Inc. frequency slots in the so-called platinum band, which will allow the company to improve its mobile phone services.

The slots to be allocated are part of the 700-megahertz band currently set aside to prevent radio wave interference.

Rakuten Mobile, whose mobile phone operations stay in the red due to its reputation of bad connection, aims to achieve profitability as soon as possible by improving the services.

Rakuten Mobile hopes to start its own platinum band mobile services next year, Co-CEO Kazuhiro Suzuki told reporters. The company previously said it would do so as early as this year.

On Monday, the Radio Regulatory Council said in a report to the communications minister that it approves the allocation to Rakuten Mobile.

According to its base station establishment plan approved by the ministry, Rakuten Mobile hopes to launch the platinum band services around March 2026 and achieve a profit in fiscal 2026.

Platinum frequency band slots in the 700- to 900-MHz range are currently allocated to mobile carriers NTT Docomo Inc., KDDI Corp. and SoftBank Corp.

Rakuten Mobile currently leases frequency slots in the 800-MHz band from KDDI for fees.