Will Rakuten Mobile Fail?

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By Dimitris Mavrakis | 1Q 2021 | IN-6066


Why Has Rakuten Launched Mobile?


Rakuten Mobile has been the interest of every single telco stakeholder globally after its announcement to deploy an open network in a saturated market in 2018. The parent company, Rakuten, Inc., is a global conglomerate with revenues on the order of US$ billions annually with operations in Japan and Europe, and investments in many different companies. Rakuten is dubbed the “Amazon of Japan” and operates a loyalty scheme, where its customers are rewarded with points when using the group services. Rakuten offers credit cards, cashless payment services, e-commerce, and most recently, mobile network services.

Rakuten has been established as a strong brand in Japan since the early 21st century, and its decision to launch a mobile network arm is a logical next step to control its user experience, while ensuring that subscribers remain within its “walled garden” and continue to accumulate loyalty points. Rakuten has implemented...

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