Rakuten launched low price 5G services on Wednesday aiming to take on market leaders such as NTT Docomo, SoftBank and KDDI.
The start of the 5G follows the launch of Rakuten’s 4G services in April in a network based on cloud-based software and commoditized hardware that the e-commerce firm says has radically slashed entry costs.
Rakuten is offering 5G plans for the same price as its existing plan – 2,980 yen ($28) before tax per month. CEO Hiroshi Mikitani said that price point is around 70 percent lower than larger rivals which began 5G services earlier this year.
The launch comes as Japan’s Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga has renewed attacks on industry prices and a day after NTT launched a buyout of top wireless carrier Docomo in a $40 billion deal saying that it would facilitate lower prices.
Rakuten hopes the 5G network will act as a showcase for the technology, attracting other companies to build their own networks with a service dubbed the Rakuten Communications Platform.