Rakuten Mobile widens pre-launch phone trial; DOCOMO intros 5G video streaming

23 Jan 2020

Japanese e-commerce firm Rakuten’s mobile arm announced today (23 January) plans to widen its free trial of mobile phone services, ahead of the launch of the full-blown network – currently slated for April. Rakuten Mobile, the country’s new fourth carrier, is expanding the trial – currently limited to 5,000 users – to an additional 20,000 people in Tokyo’s 23 wards, as well as Kobe, Nagoya and Osaka, with applications being accepted until 3 February.

Meanwhile, in an unrelated development, Japanese rival NTT DOCOMO said Wednesday (22 January) it will launch a video streaming service based on its in-deployment fifth-generation, ultra-high speed mobile network in March 2020. Details are sparse, but DOCOMO – Japan’s largest wireless carrier by subscribers – says the new service will deliver high-definition (HD) video of concerts, theatrical performances and sporting events to smartphone users.

Japan, NTT DOCOMO, Rakuten Inc., Rakuten Mobile