Softbank to invest heavily in Vodafone KK

21 Apr 2006

Softbank Corp says it will invest heavily in Vodafone KK, the Japanese mobile operator it recently acquired from the Vodafone Group. Softbank is determined to make the cellco a true competitor to NTT DoCoMo and KDDI and will spend JPY250 billion (USD2.13 billion) in the year to March 2007 to increase the number of 3G base stations in operation by 10,000 to 30,000. The new parent also plans to launch a range of handsets that provide easier access to the internet. Vodafone Group last month agreed to sell the struggling Japanese cellco for JPY1.75 trillion. Vodafone KK has lagged well behind DoCoMo and KDDI ever since it entered the market five years ago, partly because it failed to make a significant initial investment in its 3G infrastructure and services.