10 Apr 2019
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Rakuten’s Mikitani Bets $5.5 Billion To Shake Up Japan’s Telecom Industry


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Photo by Bloomberg Finance LP

A recent feature in Forbes outlines Rakuten CEO Hiroshi Mikitani’s plan to disrupt Japan’s mobile phone market. Named Rakuten Mobile, the company hopes to build the network in “half the time and at a cost of up to 40% less than what it would take to build a conventional system” and eventually add 10 million customers in the next nine years.

The plan, the article notes, relies on leveraging Rakuten’s 100 million existing e-commerce, banking, and credit card customers. “Using our ecosystem, we can acquire customers at a relatively lower cost,” Mikitani (MBA 1993) tells Forbes. “Our operation is much leaner than our competitors, and we can enrich the service using the existing Rakuten ecosystem. And I don’t think people really care whether it’s NTT, SoftBank or Rakuten that much. It’s primarily about connectivity, speed, price and what kind of extra services we can provide.”

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Class of MBA 1993, Section A
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