Softbank to Become Wireless Service Provider

January 16th, 2005

Japanese Internet firm Softbank has offered about 200 billion yen (1.96 billion dollars) to buy Tu-Ka mobile phone companies from Japan’s second-ranked mobile phone carrier KDDI Corp., a news report said.

The deal, if finalized, would enable Softbank to enter the wireless phone service to become a comprehensive communications services provider, the Nihon Keizai Shimbun said without citing sources.

The offer targets Tu-Ka Cellular Tokyo Inc., Tu-Ka Cellular Tokai Inc. and Tu-Ka Phone Kansai Inc., all more than 90 percent-owned by KDDI, it said.

The three companies specialize in low-cost second-generation mobile services and have a combined market share of 4.2 percent with roughly 3.6 million subscribers.

Softbank said last month it aimed to enter the mobile phone industry supplying third-generation (3G) services as more customers embrace the advanced technology.

The company has also asked the government for access to the high-speed 800 megahertz bandwidth used by third-generation mobile phone services and currently only in the hands of industry leaders NTT DoCoMo (news – web sites) and KDDI.

If the government approves its plan, Softbank would become the fifth company in Japan’s mobile phone industry.

theMobileBlog comments: why would Softbank be interested in buying a small wireless provider that only offers second generation wireless service? The reason would be they are testing the water of mobile internet by trying to leverage their vast network of internet related content properties.

Entry Filed under: 3G Services,Wireless Network

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