Rakuten to invest $363 million in better frequency cell base

TOKYO (Reuters) – Japan’s Rakuten Group on Monday said it would invest 54.4 billion yen ($362.81 million) to construct cellular base stations, just after the government announced it had assigned the company’s carrier better frequency for connection.

The announcement could boost the company’s mobile phone business that has struggled to take market share from cash-rich incumbents known for high-quality networks.

Rakuten said it plans to open 10,661 base stations for the “platinum band” frequency and expects its cell phone business to turn profitable in 2026.

The company is sticking to a plan to reduce capital expenditure by about 300 billion yen between 2023 and 2025, a spokesperson said.

($1 = 149.9400 yen)

(Reporting by Satoshi Sugiyama; Additional reporting by Miho Uranaka; editing by Barbara Lewis)