IPMobile abandons 3G venture, will hand back licence paper says

10 Apr 2007

According to reports from Japanese newspaper Kyodo News, local wireless start-up IPMobile has abandoned plans to enter the domestic market citing financial difficulties as the reason. The company, backed by Internet Initiative Japan, CSK Group, Shoeisha Co and the Rakuten Group, had originally planned to launch its new service, which it said would focus on data-centric offerings, in three cities in October 2006, but was forced to scale back plans due to a lack of readiness. It subsequently touted plans to offer fully-fledged commercial service in 1H 2007, with nationwide coverage to follow by 2012, and said it would offer flat-rate mobile broadband services with downlink speeds of up to 5.2Mbps and uplink speeds up to 858kbps. However, it has been unable to raise the necessary funds to roll out its service in a market dominated by three well-established heavyweights – NTT DoCoMo, KDDI Corp and Softbank Mobile.

IPMobile was established in November 2002 and was awarded 15MHz of spectrum in the 2GHz band in November 2005. It will now hand back its business licence to the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications (MIC).