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Price wars loom even in Japan as 5G and new competition come closer

Japan is gearing up for large-scale 5G launches in time for the Tokyo Summer Olympics next year, with newcomer Rakuten a wild card in the competitive landscape. Softbank, which until Rakuten came along was regarded as a disruptive challenger, has selected Nokia and Ericsson to supply its 5G systems, adding fuel to speculation that Chinese vendors have been effectively, if not officially, squeezed out of Japan’s 5G plans (Softbank carried out extensive 5G and Massive MIMO trials with Huawei and ZTE). Ericsson will supply Softbank with RAN equipment for midband and high frequency spectrum (the Japanese MNOs were recently allocated spectrum in the 3.9-4.0 GHz and 29.1-29.5 GHz bands), as well as for LTE expansion. Nokia will supply its 5G…

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