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Rakuten signs utilities to reduce cost of entering Japan’s 4G market

The idea of operators turning to industrial partners to co-invest in new networks is still embryonic, but may be essential to 5G economics (see Wireless Watch April 3 2018). China has blazed the trail with its scheme to save China Unicom – which involves a range of web and industrial companies investing in the operator in return for a say in how its 5G networks are rolled out. Now Japan – whose operators have closer ties to players in non-telecoms sectors than many others – is the location for another interesting twist on the idea that telcos cannot bear all the burden of rolling out networks, and that other sectors need to put their money where their mouth is, if…

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