On Friday, Japan’s Rakuten Mobile said it had delayed plans to launch 5G services in June because of the impact of the new crown outbreak, Reuters reported. A spokesman for the company said software testing by Rakuten’s Indian suppliers since March 25 had been affected by local lockout policies.
This is the latest setback for Rakuten. The company was forced to delay the launch of commercial services on the mobile network until April.
Rakuten is trying to gain a foothold in Japan’s telecoms market, currently dominated by three rivals, and divert it into its e-commerce and financial services.
On Thursday, the company reported a widening operating loss for its mobile business. Raheika Mikitani, Ceo of Rakuten, has previously said that using cloud-based software rather than proprietary hardware, the company’s network construction has reduced costs.
The operator has launched a package program at great prices. But Rakuten has fewer base stations than its competitors, and Rakuten also pays for MVNO roaming services to KDDI.
Rakuten has not disclosed the number of users since the launch of the service in early April, but its market performance is facing increasing uncertainty as the new crown outbreak has hit economic activity in Japan hard.