Softbank eyes 3G market

4 Dec 2003

Internet investment and broadband services group Softbank has requested a licence to begin testing 3G mobile services, indicating that it may be ready to jump into the wireless telephony arena. Softbank has applied to the regulator to test TD-CDMA technology, leading to speculation that it may try to use the technology to provide mobile phone services based on IP telephony. The company has spent heavily on developing ADSL and IP-based services but its efforts have failed to stop the rot in its profits; it reported losses of JPY77.7 billion in the first six months of this year on the back of a JPY100 billion loss in 2002. The new service could conceivably enhance its existing portfolio by using 3G technology for mobile data communications such as email and internet access.