Japan’s telecoms regulatory authority, the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications (MIC), is ready to begin accepting applications for licences to offer high speed data communications services in the 3.5GHz band, reports Kyodo News. The MIC will accept bids from 10 September to 10 October and plans to award permits to one or two companies by the end of the year, based on their proposed business models. Domestic ADSL broadband internet provider ACCA Networks and PHS mobile operator Willcom have already declared their intention to bid. The regulator says it plans to give priority to firms that do not already have a presence in the country’s cellular market. However, incumbent wireless operators will be permitted to participate via other companies, on the proviso that their stake in the new company is less or equal to 33% on the company. eMobile and Softbank Mobile have indicated a desire to follow this course of action and ACCA is tipped to join them.
Meanwhile, KDDI has revealed its own plans to team up with its largest stakeholder Kyocera Corp to bid for a concession to offer WiMAX services, the Sankei reports, citing an unnamed source. KDDI is also understood to have approached Toyota Motor Corp, its second biggest shareholder, to join the partnership. Haruhiko Maede, a spokesman for KDDI, declined to confirm or deny the report and said the company is considering various options to apply for a licence.